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March 28, 2011

"Alternative sentencing programs show growing success in Oklahoma"

The title of this post is the headline of this local article which carries this sub-headline: "Oklahoma prosecutors today may choose from a variety of nontraditional sentencing options ranging from drug court assignments to mental health and anger management counseling." Here are excerpts:

Comanche County District Attorney Fred C. Smith spoke to a civic group recently about the ever-increasing role new technology and alternative sentencing will play in the criminal courts....  Prosecutors today may choose from a variety of nontraditional sentencing options ranging from drug court assignments to mental health and anger management counseling.  GPS monitoring devices for sex offenders, alcohol monitoring bracelets and drug patches are some of the newer probation tools.

Alternative sentencing is a necessity borne from prison overcrowding and shrinking budgets, officials say.  In Oklahoma — a conservative state that prides itself on tough talk and swift justice — being tough on crime comes with a price....  Oklahoma's prison population has swelled by nearly 9,000 inmates in [recent years].  Today, that population is some 26,600, including 1,300 held in county jails.  Those totals account for 96.5 percent of the department's bed capacity....

“I'm a huge supporter of drug court,” said Jackson County District Attorney John Wampler. “I've seen a lot of success stories come out of it.  The problem ... is a lot of legislators want to see immediate results, and so there is a reluctance to put money into certain programs.  They're not looking at the long-range dividends.  For instance, we always release someone from prison and watch them struggle to get back on their feet.  We need to give them the tools so when they do get out, they have the skills to find a job and lead productive lives.  That's how you make real change.”

March 28, 2011 at 08:28 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I am favor of this alternative sentencing.
They have to go with this and be particular.

Posted by: Patterson lawfirm | May 23, 2011 1:56:44 AM

Im in favor of alternative sentencing as my brother falled drug court and now is surrving 10 yrs in your prison in oklahoma.I think drug court is a scam that sets people up to fall and brings them more charges so they surve longer sentences.I think 2 to 5 yrs in a work camp would have surved him better and helped the state cut down on wages for state workers. Im a blue collar worker.

Posted by: James | May 31, 2011 11:05:58 PM

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