Only two of the 1,500 inmates granted an early release by the Oklahoma Corrections Department since March have returned to prison after they were set free, The Oklahoman reports. A state legislator has questioned the program, while Corrections Department officials have defended its expanded use. Santajuan Stepney was released from prison in March after serving less than half of a 10-year sentence for possession of marijuana.
By mid-July, he was back in prison, this time sentenced to two years for beating his wife. Stepney, 31, was among 1,500 inmates granted an early release after they had good-behavior credits restored through the once-obscure Earned Credits program. Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie said Stepney and inmate Brian Harvey, who was granted early release in March, are the only members of the group who've returned to prison since being set free under the Earned Credits program.