Former U.S. Rep J.C. Watts: Oklahoma Must Think Outside the Cell

Source: Gene Perry/OkPolicy

As Oklahoma considers reopening prisons to accommodate a burgeoning inmate population, the time is ripe for state leaders to apply their principles of limited government and personal responsibility to criminal justice reform.

The Sooner state has the nation’s fourth-highest per capita incarceration rate and the highest female incarceration rate. State taxpayers pay dearly for this. If Oklahoma could simply lower its incarceration rate to the national average, it would save $100 million annually on corrections. Some argue that continually increasing incarceration is necessary to reduce crime, but the data shows otherwise.

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