They are free. Four hundred and sixty-two detainees were released Monday (November 4th) from Oklahoma prisons (USA). It is the largest single-day commutation of sentences in the country, Republican state governor Kevin Stitt assured. “This event is a new step in our historic calendar to advance criminal justice reform”, he added. The state probation committee had recommended a release for 527 detainees, but 65 of them will remain in prison as they are being prosecuted in other cases. With nearly 26,000 inmates, Oklahoma is one of the states with the highest incarceration rate in the country, according to The echoes. A sad record that the governor wanted to erase.
This decision is part of a global context in the United States, where state authorities and federal authorities have launched in recent years policies to reduce the penalties for certain crimes and non-violent crimes.
Most of the released detainees had been incarcerated for possession of drugs. In 2016, however, state voters adopted criminal justice reforms that made simple drug possession a minor offense rather than a crime. Those who were able to leave, after an average of three years of detention, found their families. “I'm just very happy to see my family againsaid Patrina Hunt, a former detainee. I am very young and I have a lot to change in my life. “
Present at the Eddie Warrior correctional facility for women in Muskogee County, the Governor greeted the 70 women who walked through the doors. “We hope these women will reintegrate into society and will not return to this place”, did he declare. According to Kevin Stitt, these releases should save Oklahoma $ 12 million.