NewsLocal News


Petition Aims to Reduce Oklahoma's Prison Population Amid Pandemic

Posted at 9:57 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 23:17:33-04

TULSA, Okla. — Family members are raising concerns about their loved ones in prison. Now there is a petition to reduce overcrowding during the pandemic.

“They didn’t receive death sentences," said Jonna Wolf. "And, unfortunately, some of those may pay that price.”

Wolf’s fiance, Griffin Davison, has been at the Dick Conner Correctional Center for nearly two years. She typically talks to him every day, but hasn’t heard from him since Saturday.

“And the fact that I haven’t got a phone call is the most terrifying time," she said. "And we’ve been through riots, you know, we’ve been through lockdowns.”

She said they’re both worried about the prison facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. So, she’s been writing to top Oklahoma officials, looking for answers.

“What inmates have been tested?" she said. "How many? What is the protocol? Who gets tested?”

Inmates now remain in their cells except for necessary services and are being given bars of soap and masks. But, Collen McCarty is hoping to do more. She started a petition to get the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board to reduce the prison population. She said the board is already reviewing 500 commutation applications next week, but that won’t be enough.

“Because of all the other competing concerns of a public health crisis, these people that have already essentially been granted a sentence reduction are just sitting in there being exposed potentially to a virus," McCarty said.

She’s also asking that the board work more than the four days a month they currently do and for more resources given to investigators and staff.

Meanwhile, Wolf’s fiance is supposed to be released in August. Until then, she and McCarty will use their voices, hoping that will be sooner.

“If we sit back and do nothing, we’re failing them because they cannot be heard from in there," Wolf said.

You can find the petition here or the Facebook page here.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook