(Oklahoma City) A controversial early release law will be repealed under a sweeping criminal justice reform bill approved by the State Senate.
SB 397 would do away with the so-called "cap law," in addition to lowering the legal blood alcohol content on drunk driving offenses and mandating tougher sentences for more violent criminals in Oklahoma. The legislation will also reform existing property crime statutes to ensure that the expensive, high-security prison beds are reserved for the most dangerous criminals.
"We're trying to be tough on crime and smart on crime with this legislation. It does away with early releases and puts violent offenders away for longer sentences, but it also ensures that we use our prison resources wisely by putting the right people behind bars," said Senator Dick Wilkerson, who helped draft the legislation.
Some of the provisions of SB 397 include:
"The changes should make the streets safer without taking a huge bite out of the taxpayers' pocketbooks. Our prison system has been somewhat of a budget black hole in recent years, but this should help us get a better handle on things and improve public safety at the same time," said Senator Wilkerson.
The State Senate approved SB 397 on Tuesday. The measure now goes to the House for consideration.