Hutchinson's three-point prison plan | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hutchinson's three-point prison plan

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 11:47 AM

KARK
  • KARK

Here's the broad outline of what Gov. Asa Hutchinson has in mind to deal with overloaded prisons, backed-up county jails and lack of places to put new offenders.

UPDATE: And here's more detailed information on the plan from Benji Hardy, who was at the meeting today

It's a three-point approach: 1) more prison space; 2) a "more effective" parole and reentry system, and 3) "investing in alternative and accountable sentencing programs for non-violent offenders."

Hutchinson said he wants to spend $64 million —  $50 million for more prison space, $14 million for reentry and alternative sentencing. The initial investment for the next two years would be $32 million, presumably because the prison construction couldn't happen at once.

He does call for sending some prisoners out of state — to Bowie County, Texas. And he proposes to bring churches into the mix on re-entry programs.

The Correction Department, which once had a desire for a $100 million new prison, issued this response through spokeswoman Cathy Frye:

The governor's plan will provide the additional resources and support needed by the Department of Correction and other Arkansas agencies to improve the outcomes of inmates who are released back into our communities. The increase in the number of prison beds and parole officers will ensure that the Department of Correction and the Department of Community Correction will be able to maintain a safe environment both within and outside prison walls.

But most importantly: While the governor's plan offers a speedy means of alleviating the backlog of state inmates in county jails, it also offers longterm solutions for overcrowding in the prison system.

This plan also provides for additional parole officers and reentry centers. That means enhanced supervision for those most at risk of reoffending.

What the governor is proposing goes far beyond easing overcrowding in jails and prisons, said ADC Director Wendy Kelley.

"The governor's vision for improvements to the criminal justice system and the cooperation among legislators and other state leaders in having open discussions have led to this plan, and we are excited to see this level of cooperation continue."

Commented House Minority Leader Eddie Armstrong commented:

We agree with Governor Hutchinson that the solution does not lie in simply adding more prison space, but it also cannot be solved with criminal justice reforms alone. We must continue investing in programs such as Pre-K and workforce training that lower crime by giving Arkansans an opportunity for a better life.”

Tags: , ,


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Slideshows

Most Viewed

  • Marijuana makes Harding University grad a billionaire

    Meet a new Arkansas-native billionaire — Michael Blue, who grew up in Searcy and graduated from Harding University. He owes his wealth to marijuana.
  • Are the Razorbacks out of their league?

    Ouch. The Southeastern Conference football schedule hasn't yet begun and the New York Times offers an article suggesting the Arkansas Razorbacks aren't up to playing in the league.
  • French Hill carefully vetting crowd for Mike Pence visit

    Mike Pence will appear at a campaign rally for Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill today in Little Rock and the campaign is monitoring carefully who'll be allowed to attend or cover the event. Hill is running a hide-and-seek campaign, making himself available only in safe settings. Maybe 1,200 of the right sort of people will atternd.
  • Demonstrators, small crowd greet Mike Pence at French Hill rally

    Demonstrators have been allowed near the front door of the Statehouse Convention Center where carefully screened guests, not many, will be enjoying Mike Pence's endorsement of Republican Rep. French Hill. Plenty of security and I think it might be more fun outside.
  • Six Supreme Court justices found to have violated ethics code

    The Arkansas Judicial and Disability Commission has announced the filing of formal charges of ethics violations against six members of the Arkansas Supreme Court for their handling of a case involving Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation