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Gov Fallin Signs Criminal Bill (May 10, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. Mary Fallin is praising a measure to overhaul the state's criminal justice system as critical to improving public safety and reducing a steady increase in spending on the state's prison system.

Flanked by law enforcement leaders, prison officials and prosecutors, Fallin on Thursday held a ceremonial bill signing for the measure by House Speaker Kris Steele that is designed to ease the state's growing prison population.

The bill requires increased screenings of convicted criminals for drug and mental health problems and requires stricter supervision of inmates once they're released from prison.

The bill is projected to save the state about $170 million over the next decade, with much of that money being reinvested into local police departments to target high-crime areas.

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