- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma Senate panel has passed several measures designed to slow the growth of Oklahoma’s prison population.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary approved the House-passed measures Wednesday and sent them on to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.

The measures are among proposals supported by Gov. Mary Fallin to ease overcrowding in the state’s prisons. In her State of the State speech last month, Fallin expressed support for lowering mandatory drug possession sentences by non-violent offenders as a way to ease overcrowding.

The bills include measures to allow district attorneys to file misdemeanor charges instead of felonies for certain crimes, reduce mandatory sentences for drug offenses, raise the felony threshold to $1,000 for property crimes, and expand the number of offenders eligible for drug courts.

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