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Reform Advocates Call For Release Of Vulnerable People From Oklahoma Prisons And Jails

Criminal justice reform advocates are calling for the release of people from county jails and state prisons as the coronavirus spreads.

Their long list of requests includes wanting elderly prisoners, prisoners with immune deficiencies and people on the verge of release out of state prisons. They’re also calling for the Pardon and Parole Board to expedite releases for people who might already be eligible for shortened sentences.

Kris Steele, leader of Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform says incarcerated people are at high risk of spreading the virus.

"It would also be best for the greater good if they could get into a safe place from a health standpoint today rather than potentially being in an extremely high risk environment and then be released six months from now," Steele said.

Advocates also want the governor to suspend payment of criminal fines and fees, to provide coronavirus tests to detention facilities and they want officials to make jails and prisons cleaner.


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Quinton Chandler worked at StateImpact Oklahoma from January 2018 to August 2021, focusing on criminal justice reporting.
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