Arkansas Prisons

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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Local & Regional News
2:47 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Arkansas Lawmakers Consider Prison Options

Arkansas lawmakers received a report from the Bureau of Legislative Research that outlined 8 potential options to curb prison overcrowding, including a $231 million new prison bond issue, hiring a private prison firm, and alternatives to drug sentences and re-entry programs.

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Local & Regional News
3:00 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Several Communities Make Pitch For New $100 Million Arkansas Prison

Several Arkansas cities and counties have submitted proposals to host a proposed $100 million prison that would house maximum-security inmates in the state.

Friday is the deadline for communities to submit paperwork if they want to be home to the new prison, which officials say is needed to accommodate the fast-growing inmate population. The Legislature must approve funding when it meets next year for the project to move forward.

If funding is approved, the prison is expected to employ 250 people with an average hourly salary of $12.75.

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Reentry Into Society Pt. 2
9:12 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Employment and Fees Obstacles To Transition For Former Inmates

Nyle Daniels, left, now works as a maintenance man for a west Little Rock apartment complex. His colleague, Karlton Hayes (right) is also a former inmate. Hayes estimates he filled out more than 100 job applications without a call-back or interview after his release. He was later hired by the Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock and after a few months started working at the same apartment complex.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Reentering society after a prison sentence can be a difficult task. That's because former prisoners can come up against barriers. While Arkansas corrections officials try to find ways to ease those barriers, obstacles might still come in the search for housing or employment, or getting mental health and addiction treatment.

43-year old Nyle Daniels of Little Rock was raised by a single mother, but, he says she was often absent, so at an early age he started drinking, using drugs and got involved with gangs.

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Criminal Justice
5:06 am
Mon October 13, 2014

State Looks To Expand Reentry Services For Former Inmates

A Pathway to Freedom classroom. The non-profit operates a 200 bed facility at the Wrightsville Hawkins Unit.

Before 28-year old Timothy King was convicted of second degree murder in 2009, he says he spent the majority of his time running with the wrong people.

“There was a night at this one party where a guy was cutting himself and trying to throw blood on people and I asked him to leave and he wasn’t happy about it. And from that point on, the next few nights he was openly threatening people and my wife at the time.”

King says the threats escalated, leading him and a friend to send a violent message.

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Local & Regional News
10:57 am
Tue October 7, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Likely To Allow Arkansas Muslim Inmate's Beard

U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court appears likely to side with an Arkansas prison inmate who says his Muslim beliefs require him to grow a half-inch beard.

The justices on Tuesday took up their first religious liberty case since the Hobby Lobby case bitterly divided them in June over whether family-owned corporations could mount religious objections to paying for women's contraceptives under the health care overhaul.

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Local & Regional News
5:09 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Death Of Arkansas Prison Inmate Being Investigated As Homicide

The Arkansas Department of Correction says a state prison inmate at the department's Varner Unit at Grady has died.

Department spokeswoman Shea Wilson said Wednesday that 29-year-old John Dobson died Tuesday afternoon and state police are investigating. She says the death is being investigated as a homicide.

Wilson said she can't release other details, other than to say it does not appear a weapon was used.

Dobson was serving a five-year prison sentence for a theft of property conviction in Independence County. He had been in custody since January 2013.

Local & Regional News
4:37 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Escaped Arkansas Inmate Captured Near Kansas City, Missouri

Anael Castro-Hernandez
Credit Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Pulaski County authorities say an inmate who escaped in Little Rock while being taken to a court hearing has been recaptured.

Sheriff's Lt. Carl Minden says Anael Castro-Hernandez was captured Tuesday by U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force members from Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas. Minden says a source provided Arkansas authorities with information that Castro-Hernandez was in the Kansas City metro area.

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Local & Regional News
6:20 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Arkansas Prisons Chief Announces Retirement

Ray Hobbs (front) testifies before a Legislative committee earlier this year.
Credit Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Arkansas Department of Correction Director Ray Hobbs announced Friday that he's retiring effective Nov. 1.

Hobbs has worked in the prison system since 1975 when he was hired as an entry-level guard at the Tucker Unit. He was named the department's director in June 2010.

Hobbs' departure comes as the department is preparing to ask lawmakers next year for funding to build a $100 million maximum security prison to help ease overcrowding at local jails housing state inmates.

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Local & Regional News
12:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Convicted Killer Surrenders Three Months After Escaping Pine Bluff Unit

Timothy Buffington
Credit Arkansas Dept. of Correction

A convicted killer who escaped an Arkansas prison turned himself in to authorities Thursday after about three months on the run.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokeswoman Shea Wilson says inmate Timothy Buffington went to a home in western Arkansas on Thursday and asked the resident to call Booneville police so he could surrender.

Authorities had been searching an area in Logan and Sebastian counties after someone spotted Buffington and called law enforcement.

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