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Happy homecoming for hundreds of DOC inmates

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

McLOUD, Okla. – 11:00am could not come soon enough. For almost 2 years, steel bars and razor wire separated Calista Ortiz from her family. 

Monday morning – she said goodbye to Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. 

As Ortiz finalized paperwork, her family was waiting outside the gate for the long awaited reunion. Sister, Gabriela Ortiz said, “We pulled up this morning and her daughter was screaming, I get to see my mommy today.” 

Oritz and hundreds of other Department of Corrections inmates had their sentences commuted. The early release stems from new laws, lowering certain crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. 

Governor Kevin Stitt said, “Today, some 450 Oklahomans are getting a second chance. This is the largest commutation is US history.” 

Calista Ortiz was greeted by a legion of family, including her 5 children. She plans to begin a career in the mental health profession, guiding others who struggle with depression and addiction. 

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