Oklahoma drug offenders sentenced to an average of 11.9 years

The roughly 7,000 inmates doing time for selling, growing or distributing drugs are serving an average sentence of 11.9 years in Oklahoma prisons.
BY ANDREW KNITTLE aknittle@opubco.com Published: October 12, 2011
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The roughly 7,000 inmates doing time for selling, growing or distributing drugs are serving an average sentence of 11.9 years in Oklahoma prisons.

Sentencing figures provided by the state Corrections Department show that Noble County — with an average term of 21 years — locks its drug offenders up for the longest stretches.

While the average sentence length is relatively long, at one-hundredth of a percent of the total population, Noble County has one of the lower incarceration rates in Oklahoma, based on the latest U.S. Census data and head-count reports from the state's prison system.

Craig County actually has the highest average prison term in the state for drug offenders, according to the data. One man there was sentenced to 250 years for drug offenses, rape, oral sodomy and escaping from prison.

With Allen Sharbutt's massive prison sentence included in the small group from Craig County, the average prison sentence in that county is 25.8 years.

Atoka, Delaware, Johnston and Roger Mills counties each had average prison terms of 15 years or longer, according to prison records.

Counties with the fewest inmates in state prisons on drug charges typically had lower average sentences for those crimes, with the exception of Roger Mills and Noble counties.

Drug offenders whose cases were adjudicated in Major and Alfalfa counties had average prison terms of three years, although only three inmates represented those counties. Cherokee County, which has only 14 inmates in state custody on drug charges, had an average prison sentence of five years.


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