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Study: Oklahoma prison population expected to jump

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A new study shows Oklahoma's prison population is growing much faster than expected, leaving corrections officials and lawmakers scrambling for additional funding to pay for housing inmates.

The Oklahoma Criminal Justice Resource Center study shows Oklahoma's inmate population is expected to jump by nearly 1,200 inmates over the next year.

That's an increase of 900 over previous estimates.

The unexpected increase is attributed primarily to declining parole rates and is expected to result in an annual cost of at least $15-million over previous estimates.

The new figures will be presented to the Department of Corrections board Thursday.

Federal statistics show Oklahoma ranks 4th in the percentage of its population behind bars, and number one in its incarceration rate for women.
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