Arkansas Prisons

Local & Regional News
10:02 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Gov. Asa Hutchinson Discusses Criminal Justice Reforms

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking with Roby Brock about prison reform proposals on Talk Business & Politics.
Credit Talk Business & Politics

Last week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson unveiled his plan to reform the state’s prison, parole and probation programs in a holistic, comprehensive effort to reduce crime, stem repeat offenders and curtail a high-growth area of the state’s budget. The price tag for Hutchinson’s plan is $64 million with about $32 million being spent in the next two years.

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Local & Regional News
5:32 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Governor Proposes $64 Million Prison Expansion And Reentry Plan

Governor Asa Hutchinson presents his three part plan to address prison overcrowding.
Credit Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced a $64 million plan to address overcrowding at the state’s prisons. At a press conference Wednesday, Hutchinson said he would open nearly 800 prison beds, hire new probation and parole officers and create alternative sentencing and reentry programs for some of the state’s roughly 2,500 inmates held in county jails.

The governor described his plan as a mix between an investment in prison space and an effort to reduce the state’s recidivism rate of 43 percent. 

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Local & Regional News
8:28 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Gov. Hutchinson To Discuss Prison Overcrowding Proposals

Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson plans to discuss proposals aimed at easing the overcrowding of thousands of state inmates at county jails.

Hutchinson planned a news conference Wednesday to discuss prison reform efforts, a major issue looming over the legislative session that began last month.

Hutchinson has said he's committed to finding money to open additional bed space for the inmates crowding local jails.

Corrections officials have said they need a 1,000-bed new prison, but legislative leaders say they've found little support for that proposal.

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Local & Regional News
1:22 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Hutchinson Seeks Funding To Address Jail Overcrowding

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he is committed to finding funding for additional space for thousands of state inmates crowding local jails.

Hutchinson told a group of county judges on Monday that any plan addressing prison overcrowding must include the additional space but said he wanted to avoid constructing the 1,000-bed prison corrections officials have said they need.

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Local & Regional News
4:35 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Arkansas House Approves Bill To Let Victim Relatives Witness Executions

Arkansas House members are supporting a proposal that would let family members of murder victims witness executions in-person.

Lawmakers voted 95-0 Monday to permit adult family members to attend the execution of a person convicted of killing a relative. The proposal keeps an attendance cap of 30 but provides an exception for family members.

Relatives of victims can currently ask to watch via closed-circuit television in a prison office.

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Local & Regional News
10:49 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Police: 2 Men Escape From Arkansas Jail, Are Back In Custody

Authorities say two men who briefly escaped while awaiting booking at the Jefferson County jail are back in custody.

Pine Bluff police arrested 26-year-old Corderro Foster and 24-year-old Justin Cartwright in an alleged armed robbery on Wednesday and took them back to the jail.

Spokesman Maj. Lafayette Woods Jr. of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says the men knocked down a jailer and bolted out of a door. Law enforcement officials spotted the men several hours later less than a mile away and arrested them.

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Local & Regional News
12:39 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Incoming Governor Names New Arkansas Prisons Chief

Wendy Kelly
Credit ADC

Incoming Gov. Asa Hutchinson has named a chief deputy of the Arkansas Department of Correction as the new head of the state's prison system.

Hutchinson on Monday announced that Wendy Kelley would serve as the department's director after Hutchinson takes office. Hutchinson is set to be sworn in as governor on Jan. 13.

Kelley is currently the department's chief deputy director, a post she has held since January 2014. Previously, she served as the deputy director for health and correctional programs from 2006 and 2013. She is replacing interim Director Larry Norris.

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Local & Regional News
5:26 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Hear Recomendations To Address Prison Overcrowding

Arkansas Lawmakers are considering ideas to address prison overcrowding in advance of the 2015 session of the Arkansas Legislature.  

On Tuesday, members of a committee heard the findings of a report that suggests re-entry programs, a possible tax credit for businesses that hire offenders and establish community-based organization to bolster support programs.

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Local & Regional News
10:25 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Arkansas Report Details Ways To Reduce Inmates Re-offending

A report says hiring additional probation officers, creating a tax credit for businesses that hire offenders and expanded training programs can help Arkansas reduce the number of former inmates who go back behind bars.

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Local & Regional News
5:06 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Review Report On Prison Overcrowding

Arkansas lawmakers are considering how to address prison overcrowding in the state. A legislative committee met Monday to discuss a report which proposes the construction of a 1,000 bed maximum-security prison funded by a 30-year, $231 million “wrap around” bond issue paid for with a $2 increase on car tags.  


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