The State of Oklahoma, which has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, commuted the sentences of more than 500 non-violent inmates on Monday, November 4, 2019. A total of 462 inmates were released on Monday. The remaining inmates whose sentences had been commuted all have detainers and are scheduled to be released at a later date. The commutation is considered to be the largest mass commutation in U.S. history, and part of Oklahoma’s prison reform efforts to reduce prison overcrowding and give low-level offenders a second chance. In addition to reducing prison overcrowding, the release of the inmates will also save Oklahoma taxpayers an estimated $11.9 million dollars.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- Writing: Why was the commutation considered to be a historical day for criminal justice reform?
- Debate: Oklahoma’s criminal justice reforms should be implemented across all U.S. states.
- Poll: Do you think that the inmates that were released are going to recidivate at high levels?
- Short Answer: What is a commutation?
Current Events Quiz
1.) Based on average costs, the uncommuted sentences of the inmates that were released in Oklahoma would have cost approximately ______.
a. $1.9 million
b. $5.7 million
c. $9.1 million
d. $11.9 million
2.) According to the Sentencing Project, there are ______ inmates behind bars in the state of Oklahoma.
3.) Who commuted the sentences of the inmates in Oklahoma?
b. parole board
c. prison officials
4.) The majority of the inmates whose sentences were commuted are women. (T/F)
5.) The mass commutation is not the only criminal justice reform effort in the state. (T/F)
6.) The majority of the state’s voters now support criminal justice reform. (T/F)
Featured Image: Charles Duggar via flickr_CC BY-SA 2.0