527 Oklahoma inmates to be freed in largest commutation in U.S. history
El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images.
Hundreds of inmates in Oklahoma left their cells Monday and were sent home to their families, CNN reports.
Why it matters: It was the largest mass commutation in U.S. history, part of a broad criminal justice reform effort being undertaken by Oklahoma. A total of 527 inmates in prison for non-violent and low-level crimes had their sentences commuted Friday, with 65 still held on detainers and set to be released at a later date.
The big picture: A series of reforms in 2016 changed multiple low-level felonies in Oklahoma to misdemeanors, including the possession of small amounts of drugs. The state also raised the property crime threshold from $500 to $1,000.
By the numbers: The average released inmate was 39.7 years old, had been incarcerated for three years, and was released 1.34 years early. The inmates would have cost the state an estimated $11.9 million more if they had served the full remainder of their sentences.