Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April 20, 2011
Senate approves ‘smart on crime’
The full Senate has given its approval to a bill expanding
community sentencing programs and GPS monitoring for nonviolent offenders.
Senate author Patrick
Anderson said House Bill 2131, which was approved Wednesday with
a bipartisan vote of 44 to 3, would save taxpayer dollars while ensuring
the state’s most dangerous criminals are kept behind bars. Anderson
said Oklahoma currently spends $500 million on adult corrections.
“The amount of money we spend on incarceration continues to skyrocket,”
said Anderson, R-Enid. “Expanding community sentencing and GPS
monitoring for nonviolent offenders will save millions of dollars and
still ensure the public is protected from the state’s most dangerous
offenders. This is just good public policy”
HB 2131 would enact several key reforms, including:
• Expanding eligibility for community sentencing
programs and mandatory supervision. The cost of community sentencing
is approximately $3.50 per day.
• Expand eligibility for GPS monitoring. The cost for GPs is about
$4.75 per day compared to $38 per day for minimum security imprisonment.
• For the first time, would establish qualification requirements
for Parole Board members, including a minimum bachelor’s degree
in social science or at least 10 years of experience in criminal justice,
law or counseling. These qualifications would enable board members to
better determine which offenders should remain incarcerated and which
are ready for parole.
• Limits the Governor’s role in the parole process for nonviolent
offenders. The measure would NOT remove the Governor from the parole
process. The Governor would still be required to take action on parole
recommendations for those convicted of violent crimes as well as crimes
involving the exploitation of children and vulnerable adults.
Anderson said the corrections recommendations were the result of a joint
effort by representatives of the District Attorneys Council; the Court
of Criminal Appeals; District Court Judges; the Department of Corrections;
and a bipartisan group of House and Senate members.
HB 2131 now returns to the House for consideration of Senate amendments.
For more information contact:
Sen. Anderson: (405) 521-5630