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At a glance: Justice Reinvestment Act

Oklahoman Modified: May 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm •  Published: May 3, 2013


The Justice Reinvestment Act

Despite reservations by conservative Republicans in the Legislature, a plan to reduce the state's inmate population is begrudgingly moving forward.

• The Justice Reinvestment Act was signed into law last spring and went into effect last November.

• The act seeks to slow growth of the state's inmate population over the long term by investing millions of dollars now in diversionary programs, post-imprisonment supervision and mental health and substance abuse assessments for those about to be sentenced to prison.

• If implemented in full, the initiative has the potential to reduce state prison beds by more than 2,000 and slash corrections costs by $200 million over the next decade, with more than half of that reinvested into focused crime-fighting strategies.

• The current fiscal budget includes about $3.7 million in funding for the initiative; a budget agreement announced Wednesday for the coming year allots another $3.5 million to the project.

• The initiative is based on a nationwide model and was developed in conjunction with the Council of State Governments.

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