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Okla. Program Aimed at Reducing Repeat Gun Offenses (Jun 17, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A federal prosecutor says a new criminal justice program aimed at reducing repeat firearms and violent crime offenses among paroled felons teaches ex-convicts the severe consequences of possessing a gun.

U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats said Thursday the Probation and Parole Reentry Program is a collaborative effort between federal, state and local law enforcement. It focuses on felony parolees and probationers who are released from state prison or are being sentenced in Oklahoma County.

Coats says the program teaches convicted felons about the severe penalties of committing another firearms offense and coordinates efforts to prosecute gun offenders. It also helps them reenter the community from prison.

Officials say a similar program in North Texas has reduced firearms offenses by parolees by more than 50 percent in five years.



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