Women in Prison

Oklahoma City, OK – Judges discuss Okla's high women-in-prison rate

(Information in the following story is from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Many Oklahoma judges asked about the state's high incarceration rate for women say they are not to blame for that fact.

A state Corrections Department spokesman says Oklahoma had 2,584 women in prison and halfway houses as of April 1. U.S. Justice Department statistics indicate in most years, Oklahoma puts more women in prison per capita than any other state.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Taylor tells The Oklahoman in his 21 years as a trial judge, he sent many women to prison "and there's not one who didn't deserve it."

Retired Oklahoma County District Judge Charles Owens says he cannot recall ever sending a woman to prison when it wasn't justified.

Trial judges say jury verdicts or plea deals often result in female criminals being sent to prison.