A new report provided to the Arkansas Board of Corrections shows the state's prison population increased by 17.7 percent last year.
The report from a nonprofit research institute found two factors for the sharp increase. First, more parole-revocation hearings were held, leading to a jump in the number of parolees sent back to prison. Second, there was an increase in offenders who received prison sentences instead of probation for nonviolent crimes like theft, burglary or drug charges.
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state had 14,627 inmates at the end of 2012. By the end of 2013, that number had jumped to 17,211 inmates.
The state enacted new policies after a repeat parole absconder was charged with murder in the death of a teenager in Little Rock.