April 30, 2003
Posted at: 2:00 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The state Board of Correction has approved a new contract that boosts spending on inmate health care by $10 million over the next two years.
The board yesterday approved a $32 million annual contract with Correctional Medical Services of St. Louis. The approval came even though the state budget for the next two years has not been passed by the Legislature.
The Correction Department has 13,000 inmates and operates on an annual budget of $179 million. Prison officials have asked the Legislature to provide an additional $50 million to cover rising medical costs, reimbursements of county jails for holding state prisoners, and the opening of more than one-thousand new prison beds.