(AP) Governor Mary Fallin has commuted the sentences of 21 Oklahoma prison inmates convicted of various nonviolent offenses following a campaign by supporters of changes to the state’s criminal justice system.
Fallin signed the commutations Wednesday during an emotional ceremony at the state Capitol.
Each of the 21 offenders, mostly women convicted of drug crimes, were sentenced to 10 or more years in prison for offenses that now carry only jail time or significantly reduced sentences.
Initially 22 offenders were selected for commutation, but one inmate was cited for misconduct before the requests were sent to the governor.
Oklahoma’s incarceration rate has been increasing for decades, and the state earlier this year surpassed Louisiana to earn the dubious distinction as having the highest incarceration rate in the nation.