The state prison population is projected to grow an additional 3.6% in two years after the state Department of Corrections eliminated a method of shortening prisoners’ sentences.
The Department of Corrections is drawing heavy criticism for its steep rise in COVID-19 cases. Most of the 3,175 total cases recorded as of Sept. 23. were first reported in the past month.
An Oklahoma prisoner who tested positive for COVID-19 died in a hospital on Saturday. If she had lived, the woman’s earliest possible release would have come in May, 2021.
Data analyzed by a Johns Hopkins University researcher suggests people incarcerated in state and federal prisons are at higher risk of catching Covid-19 and of dying from the disease.
Thousands of prisoners across the country are infected with Covid-19. The more states test, the more cases they find. Some question whether Oklahoma’s Covid-19 testing policies have revealed the true number of state prisoners carrying the disease.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections decides which prisoners to test for Covid-19 on a cases by case basis. So far, two prisoners have tested positive for Covid-19.
The Marshall Project reported coronavirus infections in U.S. prisons more than tripled in one week.
Some doctors are asking states to turn over drugs the states use for lethal injections. Oklahoma’s corrections agency says no hospital has asked it for any “specific medicine.”
Legislators concluded this year’s session after only passing one reform bill that could directly affect the size of the state’s prison population, but experts aren’t sure how much. Three Oklahoma voters said they want to see more progress.