The state Corrections Department has seen a significant drop in the number of inmates being placed on agency-supervised probation and parole over the past several years.
Jerry Massie, department spokesman, said the decrease in probation clients is due to a 2005 law change that allows individuals on felony probation to be supervised by district attorneys instead of the prison system.
At the beginning of 2006, the Corrections Department supervised more than 30,000 individuals. Today, that number has dropped to 20,934.
The decline has been steady over the years for the prison system and is generating tens of millions of dollars statewide for district attorneys.
Last fiscal year, the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council estimated that nearly $14 million was generated through probation supervision fees charged to offenders. The eight-digit figure represents 20 percent of the district attorneys' budgets, according to the council.
Today, the state's 27 district attorney offices are supervising 27,600 people charged with misdemeanors and another 10,500 charged with felonies.
Like private probation supervision companies, which are relatively small in number in Oklahoma, district attorneys charge probationers $40 per month in supervision fees.
Supervising an individual using a Corrections Department probation officer costs $1,026 each year, for each person.
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