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Gov. Kevin Stitt, shown here speaking to inmates at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center last year, signed of on Thursday's release of 124 inmates across the state — 83 men and 41 women — under Oklahoma’s expedited commutation docket. The Oklahoman file

McLOUD — In the parking lot at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center on Thursday, a baby girl cried in the arms of inmate No. 779008.

Elizabeth Bijelic, 28, said she gave birth to her 2-month-old daughter while in prison on a three-year sentence for drug possession. The mother and child reunion took place in the shadow of razor wire.

“It’s amazing,” Bijelic said. “I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.

“I’m very blessed to be out. I’m not saying I didn’t need to be sat down for a minute, but it was excessive.”

On Thursday, Bijelic was among 124 inmates across the state — 83 men and 41 women — who were released under Oklahoma’s expedited commutation docket, which was established by House Bill 1269, which took effect Nov. 1.


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