(NBC News) History will be made Monday when Oklahoma, the state with the highest incarceration rate in the country, will carry out the largest single-day commutation of prisoners in U.S. history.
Close to 500 inmates currently serving time will walk free.
“They’re going to be back with their families on Thanksgiving, get back in the work force, save the $11.9 million for Oklahomans, right? That’s a huge deal,” says Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
The commutations come after voters, and then the state legislature, agreed that simple drug possession and non-violent property crimes under $1,000 should be classified as misdemeanors and that offenders already serving felony sentences for those crimes should go free.
“This group of nonviolent offenders are just a part of this story,” Governor Stitt adds. “By the end of this year we’re anticipating we’ll have about 2,000 empty beds in our system.”
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