Tuesday, August 16, 2016

State plans big boost in spending to confine juveniles

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 1:55 PM

High irony alert in light of the earlier post about how Arkansas sets the curve, a bad one, for confining juveniles.

KUAR reports that the state Division of Youth Services is going to turn over most  lockup of juveniles to an Indiana company, taking the work away from Arkansas providers. As with most outsourcing, the move is going to cost money — big money. The state expects the per day rate to go up more than 50 percent, from $147 to $232. Sen. Linda Chesterfield pressed but could get no good answers to where this money will come from. Cost-cutting elsewhere is the best she and KUAR could get out of state officials.

Spend still more on juvenile lockups while the rest of the country is confining fewer juveniles and spending less? Your tax dollars at work.

“We have asked for increases in that funding for years. They swore there was not a dime there. All of the sudden, out of the blue of the western sky we’ve got enough money for a room at the Waldorf-Astoria,” said Chesterfield. “The folks from out of town get all the money that was going to invest in Arkansas.”

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