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Bill Keeping Moms From Prison Passes

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KOCO: Legislation creating a pilot program that seeks to establish re-entry and diversion programs to allow nonviolent offender mothers to receive community-based services in lieu of incarceration unanimously passed the House Monday in Oklahoma.

House Bill 2998, by Rep. Kris Steele, would encourage re-entry and diversion programs as opposed to jail time for nonviolent female offenders in allow them to receive rehabilitative services while maintaining contact with their children.

Oklahoma incarcerates more women than any other state in the nation. Its incarceration rate for women is 131 per 100,000 residents, almost twice the national average of 69 per 100,000.

Most women prison inmates, 68 percent, are in prison for nonviolent offenses.

"This bill will give women convicted of nonviolent crimes access to community-based rehabilitative services that have proven effective," said Steele. "As policy-makers, we can be both tough and smart on crime. The average prison stay for nonviolent women is less than a year, but the impact on their children is lifelong and devastating. In-home rehabilitative services will keep these families together and allow Oklahoma women to receive the help they desperately need."

The bill passed the House with a vote of 92-0 and will next be considered by the Senate.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Danilo Fuerstenberge July 25, 2010, 10:20 PM

@Mike I’m not quite sure I understand what your saying

Solomon Citrino August 14, 2010, 11:07 AM

I was wondering the same thing

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