Lawmakers Pass Measure To Ease Prison Overcrowding

Jul 1, 2014

Arkansas lawmakers have approved measures to provide extra funding to the state Department of Correction in an effort to relieve overcrowding in state and local lockups.

The House and Senate on Tuesday approved separate bills aimed at easing an influx of state inmates at local prisons. Lawmakers are expected to give final approval to the legislation shortly after midnight Wednesday.

Under the plan, the state would transfer $6.2 million in state funds to pay for up to 600 additional prison beds.

Arkansas' inmate population has risen since the state enacted stricter probation and parole policies last year. Many state inmates are being held at county jails as they await state prison beds.

The House approved the bill by a 90-1 vote. The Senate approved its measure by a 34-1 vote.