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HPPR Health, Education & Welfare

Oklahoma Looks To Louisiana For Answers On Prison Overcrowding

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Flickr Creative Commons

Oklahoma imprisons more people than any other state, which means the Sooner State remains the largest per capita incarcerator in the world. State Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh is trying to change that, and he may have found part of the answer in the nation’s previous leader in imprisonment, Louisiana.

As StateImpact reports, legislators in Louisiana have passed a number of measures aimed at decreasing the number of prisoners in that state, including easing sentences for nonviolent crimes. This and other reforms helped to lower the prisoner population in Louisiana by almost eight percent in a single year.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma legislators largely ignored similar recommendations by a state task force. Corrections Director Allbaugh has openly lamented that lawmakers in Oklahoma aren’t as bold as those in Louisiana.