Oklahoma law has provided that some type of credit be applied as a sentence
reduction. As a result, prisoners in Oklahoma rarely serve their sentences
day-for-day in full. Every prisoner has their term of imprisonment reduced
monthly, based upon one of four class levels to which they are assigned.
Earned credits are governed by state law and must be applied correctly
and while no prisoner has a right per se to receive them, they do have
the right to be treated equally and without prejudice within the rules
and law governing their application.
enough until we look at Jerry’s experience and find that the Oklahoma
Department of Corrections has turned what should be a wonderful incentive
into a nightmare of confusion and perpetual punishment. For Jerry, the
level system and its earned credits have been used as a tool of mental
and physical torture.
over 22 years of a 25-year sentence because of the misapplication of
policies and procedures by the ODOC when they sent him to Texas in 1988.
Once he returned to Oklahoma in 2003, he was then prevented from rising
any higher than level 2. (Read the full story in Set Me Free available
as a download from this website)
Department of Corrections owes Jerry years of earned credits he should
have been allowed to receive if policies and procedures governing them
had been applied correctly and without prejudice. If we had the money
to appoint a lawyer, we could do what Jeanette Nance advised us to do
in her email of October 2010:
Hamilton - I have received your e-mail. Again, I remind you I have forwarded
your inquiry and information to the Governor and Chief of Staff for
review; however, I want to reiterate that your husband's rights in this
case are under the law through the courts with the advice of legal counsel.
The Governor's office in Oklahoma is not a mechanism for complaints
nor an investigative body.
Director of Constituent Services
Office of Governor Brad Henry
owed so much time that if it was given to him, he could discharge the
final sentence he is serving and gain his release after 31 consecutive
years of imprisonment.