Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, said he is concerned that Gov. Brad Henry’s so-called “Smart on Crime” proposal is backdoor effort to reinstate early release programs for offenders.
“It would be a dangerous mistake for the state to put violent or repeat offenders back on the street early simply to save money, and I fear that’s the direction where Gov. Henry’s plan is ultimately headed. I’ve read the jackets for many inmates who would be eligible for these kinds of early release programs, and they are certainly not people any of us would want in our neighborhoods,” Coffee stated.
Coffee noted Senate Republicans continue their support for effective prison alternatives such as drug courts, and continue to work on efforts to reduce recidivism and to help convicted criminals who have completed their sentences reintegrate into society.
“But the fact is that Oklahoma’s tough-on-crime policy that forces criminals to serve most of their sentences has reduced crime rates and made Oklahoma a safer place for our families,” Coffee said.