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7:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Oklahoma Criminal Justice Legislation Clears House

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma House has given final approval to House Speaker Kris Steele's sweeping criminal justice overhaul bill.

The GOP-led House voted 71-18 for the measure Wednesday and sent it to Republican Governor Mary Fallin to be signed into law.

The bill was developed through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative and is designed to improve public safety by reinvesting resources in programs that reduce crime and control prison growth.

Steele says the bill creates a grant program for local law enforcement agencies to apply for additional resources to improve public safety. He also says the bill will hold offenders more accountable and ensure prisons have the space to house dangerous criminals

Steele says the program will save the state up to $200 million. Similar programs have been implemented in other states, including Texas.