FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leila McDowell, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.822.6700
WASHINGTON— Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) today applauded Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for signing a bill aimed at reducing Oklahoma’s prison population. HB 2479 repeals mandatory minimum sentences for first-and second drug possession offenses, and reduces the maximum sentences for those crimes. The bill was sponsored by Republican Representative Pam Peterson, Chair of the House Criminal Justice & Corrections Committee, and Republican Senator Greg Treat, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary. The bill was part of a series of criminal justice measures proposed by Governor Fallin earlier this year.
“This is a big step forward toward smarter sentencing in Oklahoma,” said Greg Newburn, FAMM’s State Policy Director. He added, “Governor Fallin, Chair Petersen and Chair Treat should all be commended for their leadership. This bill is a common sense solution to some problems that have long plagued Oklahoma’s criminal justice system.” Newburn also noted that Oklahoma began its move toward mandatory minimum reform last year, when Governor Fallin signed a FAMM-supported “safety valve” that restored judicial discretion in sentencing for many drug crimes.
“Oklahoma was among the first states to respond to prison overcrowding by restoring drug sentencing discretion. Today’s legislation continues that effort. There’s more to be done, but Oklahoma continues to lead on sentencing reform,” Newburn said.
FAMM is the nation’s leading sentencing reform organization. Based in Washington, D.C., the group recently celebrated its 25th anniversary fighting for sentencing reform.
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