Arkansas Prison Officials Seek Community Partners For Reentry Programs

Apr 28, 2015

Cummins Prison in southeast Arkansas
Credit Arkansas Department of Correction

Prison officials are looking to pay Arkansas businesses and non-profits to help address the state’s over-crowded prisons and 43 percent recidivism rate.

Arkansas Community Correction plans to disperse funds allotted in the 2015 legislative session to service providers helping inmates re-enter society. 

"Over 80 percent of our population has a drug or alcohol program and there are treatment services out in the community we want to make sure they are coupled with," said Kevin Murphy, Chief Deputy Director of DCC. 

DCC has created a call for proposals from businesses and non-profit groups to develop the re-entry programs. Organizations will be given one-year contracts at a rate of $26.70 per day for the first several months and $13.62 per day after.

Providers will help with housing planning, family reunification, and education for felons with moderate to high-risk of recidivism, within eighteen months of their parole release date.

"We want to make sure the quality of these programs is good, the intent of the providers is true, " said Murphy. 

DCC will offer training for providers who can help with substance abuse and other needs of inmates. The reentry programs will be structured into four phases and will be evaluated for their effectiveness based on program completion and employment rates.