- Associated Press - Monday, February 2, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is calling for an initiative to lower incarceration costs in the state.

In her State of the State address Monday, she said personal and community safety remain top priorities, and violent criminals will continue to be incarcerated. But one in 11 Oklahomans serve time in prison at some point in their lives and many inmates are first time, non-violent offenders with drug abuse and alcohol problems.

Fallin says Oklahoma must ramp up its “smart on crime” policies, including the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, to offer alternatives to low-risk, non-violent offenders such as drug courts, veteran’s courts and mental health courts.

It costs the state around $19,000 a year to house an inmate, but $5,000 a year to send an addict through drug court and on to treatment.

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