Rehabilitation instead of incarceration

by Stan Morris email | twitter

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - You've seen the stories and read the news about jails being overcrowded and in Randolph County, that too is the case.

Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble says one of those solutions is to build extra jail cells, a bigger jail facility or a regional jail facility to help all area counties. But he also knows that the slumping economy means less tax revenues, which mean less money and a small chance of getting extra money needed to increase the housing facilities.

That has him thinking of another possible solution: rehabilitation.

Ideally, this means taking inmates and preparing them for society so that they don't repeat crimes. has an article on its Web site that shows how much re arrests affect prison populations. It says re arrests account for 35 percent of prison populations.

On the day Region 8 News visited Randolph County jail, 40 inmates were present with just 2 jailers. The jail only has 35 beds. If 35 percent of that population were removed, that would leave only 26 inmates, well under the bed-limit.

Many local communities don't have these programs in place, but for them to be effective, that same article says they must be well-organized with good record keeping.