Arkansas's prison population is among the fastest growing in the country. The state now spends more than half of a billion dollars on corrections, a 68 percent increase since 2004, and our prison population, which increased by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016, is expected to rise by another 19 percent between 2016 and 2023 to 21,345. Those were the facts and projections Justice Center, a project of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, reminded people of yesterday before presenting criminal justice reform proposals.
We'll get a good sense of what criminal justice reform legislation might look like in the 2017 General Assembly later today — as well as some potential stumbling blocks to its passage. Justice Center, an offshoot of the national nonprofit Council of State Governments, will offer policy recommendations to the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force this afternoon at the Arkansas Association of Counties conference.
Advocates of medical marijuana are circulating a YouTube video of a 2011 debate at the University of Arkansas between Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, and Asa Hutchinson, not then governor but speaking as a former DEA Administrator and congressman. Hutchinson seemed open to medical use of marijuana.
Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, is knocking Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. John Boozman, for traveling to Florida this week while refusing to meet Eldridge for debate in Arkansas.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge can't be moved to do anything about unconstitutional payday lending in the state that pays her, but a day rarely passes that she can't mess in the politics of some other jurisdiction.
Here's a bit of minor league funny business in a race for Arkansas legislature — small potatoes, but illustrative of politics in blood-red Arkansas, where faith and branding "trump" facts just about every time.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson defended removal of any mention of pre-k from party platform, said that the current funding will continue, and that he will "work with the legislature to determine what additional funding should go to pre-k."
Arkansas Wins in 2016, the ballot committee pushing for passage of a constitutional amendment to allow casino gambling in Boone, Miller and Washington counties, has enough valid signatures to receive extra time to collect the number of signatures required to be approved for the ballot, spokesperson Robert Coon said today.
Governor Hutchinson said yesterday that he plans to call a special election to fill the Arkansas House of Representatives District 9 seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Sheilla Lampkin (D-Monticello). Retired brigadier general LeAnne Burch has announced that she'll seek the Democratic nomination for the seat.
Former President Bill Clinton will soak up most of the attention Tuesday night but there will be another Arkansan taking the stage: Dustin Parsons, a fifth-grade teacher from Pine Haven Elementary in Bauxite.
Former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate challenging Republican incumbent Sen. John Boozman, raised around $290,000 in the second quarter of 2016 and ended the quarter with $315,000 cash on hand.
On residency requirements for LRPD officers and why many of his officers choose to live outside the city, community policing, mass incarceration, juvenile justice, assault rifles and gun control and more.
A petition drive has begun to encourage a demand that Sen. Jason Rapert pay for the legal fees in defending his Ten Commandments monument proposed for the state Capitol grounds. It's more work by the Satanic Temple, which has fought church-state entanglement around the country.
Metroplan will vote Wednesday on a waiver of the six-lane freeway limit in its regional transportation plan to remove one obstacle to building a huge concrete gulch through the center of Little Rock — 10 lanes of freeway and even more concrete in some spots — to hasten the movement of traffic to and from suburbs to the detriment of quality of life in the city. Big surprise: the business establishment's drum major Mayor Mark Stodola, wants to pour the concrete.