• Muskogee County works on new program to help lower incarceration numbers

    By: Paris Holmes


    MUSKOGEE, Okla. - A task force was formed in Muskogee County to help reduce the number of incarcerations.

    The Muskogee County Criminal Justice Task Force encompasses city and county leaders. 

    County Commissioner Ken Doke said the majority of people incarcerated in the county are there due to drug-related crimes by way of addiction. Other are in jail because they are unable to pay fees and fines incurred while in jail.

    A new, currently unnamed program aims to address these issues by partnering with local organizations such as Gospel Rescue Mission, Green Country Behavioral Health, Eastern Workforce Board, Muskogee County Transit and Muskogee Bridges Out of Poverty.

    The program will be tailored to each inmate's needs, and the organization will help them receive substance abuse counseling, if necessary; find employment; arrange transportation; or help with community service to work off fees and fines.

    County and city judges and jail administrators will be able to recommend people to the program.

    Doke said a steering committee is working out the details. The committee hopes to have the program underway within a month.

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