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UPDATE: Women in Prison

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By Associated Press

Oklahoma City, OK – Prison diversionary plan for moms passed

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma House has passed a program for mothers who are nonviolent offenders that will give them community-based services instead of a prison sentence.

Legislation creating a pilot program passed 92-0 in the House Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The measure by House Speaker Pro Tem Kris Steele of Shawnee would encourage re-entry and diversionary programs for nonviolent female offenders. The programs would allow them to receive rehabilitative services while maintaining contact with their children.

Oklahoma incarcerates more women than any other state in the nation. Its incarceration rate for women is 131 per 100,000 residents, almost twice the national average of 69 per 100,000.

Most women prison inmates, 68 percent, are in prison for nonviolent offenses.