Bill would allow 'medically frail' inmates over 50 to request pardon review


A bill allowing non-violent Oklahoma inmates to request a medical review with the Pardon and Parole Board has passed through the Oklahoma House.

House Bill 1338 would allow inmates over the age of 50 and that are medically frail to be considered for a medical parole. Only inmates serving time for non-violent offenses will be allowed to be considered. The bill was authored by State Rep. Greg Babinec (R-Cushing). HB 1338 passed through the Oklahoma House March 14 with a 73-16 vote. Babinec hopes the measure will lessen Oklahoma's prison population.

“This bill could alleviate the overcrowding the Department of Corrections is in the throes of while lessening the agency’s medical bills as well," Babinec said.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said the legislation was step in the right direction.

“If passed by the Senate, signed into law by the governor and acted upon by the pardon and parole board, this bill has potential to ease medical costs and create bed space in our system," Allbaugh said.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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