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Criminal Justice Working Group Meets To Discuss Reforms

Robert Patton, Director, Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Oklahoma's governor and the head of the state's prison system are among those working on solutions to the state's rapidly growing prison population.

A criminal justice working group met behind closed doors on Monday to begin talks on how to curb the growth of Oklahoma inmates.

Legislative leaders joined with Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton and groups representing law enforcement, the state's mental health agency and others.

Patton said last week that Oklahoma's prisons currently are operating at an average of 118 percent of capacity. The Howard McLeod Correctional Center in Atoka currently houses more than double its capacity.

Among the ideas lawmakers are considering is diverting more nonviolent offenders from prison and stricter oversight of inmates who are released.

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