Three stacks of files dot the floor of District Attorney Richard Smothermon's office, where one still awaits his review while two smaller piles are already sorted nearby.

Each file outlines the felony case of an offender who is currently incarcerated with the Department of Corrections, and some of those inmates may end up being eligible for an early release.

A month ago, Smothermon announced that his office would be conducting a Sentencing Review Project of incarcerated offenders from his district who could be impacted by the changes to state law because of State Question 780.

Smothermon, who is the District Attorney for both Pottawatomie and Lincoln Counties in District 23, said passage of the state question changed nonviolent drug and low-level property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, meaning some previously adjudicated felonies are now considered misdemeanors.

“In light of the recent changes to state law with the passage of State Question 780, we have begun a thorough review of people who might be in prison for what would now be a misdemeanor,” Smothermon said in that announcement. “It seems to me only just to review those sentences, and in appropriate cases, to release the inmate and modify the sentences as quickly as possible.”

Smothermon asked the Department of Corrections to provide him a list of all current inmates from Pottawatomie and Lincoln Counties who might have been impacted by the passage of SQ 780 or by current proposed legislation being considered this session and that list included 104 offenders.

The case files were pulled and are being reviewed to see if any of the offenders qualify for any type of sentence modification under the new law, he said.

And Smothermon is personally looking at each case with due diligence.

“I'm reading through each one,” he said, adding he's been through about one-third of the stack so far.

He's identified several that might be eligible for early release if they're adaptable to supervised probation.

In one case, Smothermon said, a women jailed because she failed drug court is set to be released form prison this October. Her case could be eligible for release with supervision or other caveats.

Smothermon said all of the cases he's looking through do not involve any type of violent offenders and include offenses such as forgery, embezzlement, larceny, false declaration of a pawn ticket, possession of controlled dangerous substance and concealing stolen property. Anyone who is believed to be a public safety risk is not part of the review, he added.

Smothermon said there could also be other things to consider in any possible sentence modification, such as supervised probation, either through the Department of Corrections or his office, as anyone being released needs the tools to be successful upon their release.

While Smothermon is branching out to do this in his district, part of the reasoning came from district attorneys across the state being asked by legislators to look at ways to reduce the prison population, he said, with this being one of the ideas.

Oklahoma has the nation's second highest overall incarceration rate at more than 110 percent.

Watch for updates.