Prison and jail population drops 15% from a year ago

The state’s prison population has dropped 15% since a year ago, the Board of Corrections was told Wednesday.

As of Aug. 31, the agency had 21,991 offenders, or 3,886 fewer than about the same time last year, said Jason Bryant, Oklahoma Department of Corrections population coordinator.

The figures include state facilities, private prisons and county jails, he told the board during a meeting at the Howard McLeod Correctional Center in Atoka. The meeting was shared by video.

He attributed some of the decrease to sentencing reforms and the COVID-19 virus.

While the agency has seen a decline in its incarcerated population, with sentencing resuming, the count could be going back up, said Millicent Newton-Embry, Oklahoma Department of Corrections offender services director.

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