Legislature reports on prison options | Arkansas Blog

Legislature reports on prison options

by

4 comments
Roby Brock at Talk Business reports on ideas to curb prison crowding, ranging from building a new prison (not likely any time soon) to shipping Arkansas prisoners to a private prison operator in Louisiana (cheaper than our current costs, but fraught with problems).

Recommendations from the Bureau of Legislative Research, as outlined by Talk Business, for a system currently housing 17,000 inmates, with another 2,500 backed up in county jails:

* Construct a 1,000 bed maximum security prison using a 30-year “wrap-around” bond issue estimated to cost $231 million (including principal and interest), excluding annual maintenance and operations expenses. The debt service would be covered by raising car tag decals by $2 annually.

* Review the successes and failures of Act 570, which altered sentencing guidelines.

* Mitigate longer sentences utilizing correctional interventions and re-entry programs.

* Consider using abandoned school buildings across the state rather than new construction to expand re-entry programs.

* Enlarge and expand the existing drug court program.

* Consider a private corrections management service provider that purports to have a lower per-inmate daily cost.

* Expand the Smarter Sentencing program in order to mitigate longer sentences.

* Consider funding the increase in the Arkansas Community Correction transitional beds program.

Note that none of these alternatives is cost-free. Some are more expensive than others. The current budget isn't proving sufficient to pay counties their cost of holding prisoners who should be in state lockup.




From the ArkTimes store

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment
 

Add a comment

Clicky