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Okla. Tapped for Intensive Criminal Justice Study (Jun 23, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — State leaders say Oklahoma has been chosen for an intensive study of its criminal justice system with the intention of reducing prison overcrowding and improving public safety.

The state's selection for the Justice Reinvestment Initiative Program was announced Thursday. The program is funded in part through the federal Department of Justice.

House Speaker Kris Steele says it involves a close look at criminal justice data and the development of policies to reduce crime rates and reduce the state's prison population.

Oklahoma has in prison more women per capita than any other state and the overall incarceration rate ranks third in the nation.

The Department of Justice says Oklahoma also has the 11th highest violent crime rate in the country.

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