DOC official wants fewer female inmates

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The deputy director of female operations for the state Department of Corrections says she would like to close some women's prisons.

Laura Pitman says her goal is to reduce the number of female inmates. She says she will review how women are moved through the prison system with hopes of reducing the amount of time they spend behind bars.

As of late January there were 2,665 women in prison in Oklahoma and Pitman wants to cut that number by 1,400.

She says even 700 fewer female inmates would allow the closing of the Eddie Warrior prison in Taft and possibly using it to house male inmates.

Pitman says immediate areas she'll look at include reducing a woman's prison term in exchange for good behavior.

In the long term she hopes to see more use of drug and mental health courts as alternatives to sending women to prison.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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