OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill that will help more nonviolent offenders qualify for the Electronic Monitoring Program.
Senate Bill 456, written by Sen. Bill Coleman, R-Ponca City, was passed unanimously on Tuesday.
Coleman said the measure is needed to correct an oversight in state law that prevented inmates sentenced between five to 10 years from participating in home monitoring, according to a State Senate news release.
“This bill will help address our overcrowded prisons and lower incarceration costs by allowing this group of nonviolent offenders to complete the remainder of their sentences at home, where they can return to the workforce and help support themselves and their families,” Coleman said. “It’ll also ensure that those who prey on our most vulnerable citizens—our children and senior citizens—won’t be eligible for the program.”
The bill, however, prohibits individuals convicted of child abuse and neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult, instances of which qualify as a nonviolent crime, from participating in the program, according to the news release.
The legislation, which was requested by the Department of Corrections, heads to the State House of Representatives next. Rep. Garry Mize, R-Guthrie, is the House principal author.