Charlie Buttrey

November 6, 2019

Even very red states are beginning to recognize that lengthy prison sentences for non-violent crimes are counterproductive and expensive.

On Monday, in the largest single-day commutation in U.S. history, the state of Oklahoma — which has the highest incarceration rate in the country which, in turn, has the highest incarceration rate in the world — released 462 prisoners after Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted the sentences of 527 people who had been convicted of nonviolent offenses. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board estimated that the cost of having the inmates serve out their full sentences would have cost the state $11.9 million.

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