Prisons Warn of Shutdown Effects

January 21, 2004  -- Posted at 7:39 AM  CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR  -- The state Correction Department has warned that if a possible government shutdown were to occur, it would likely be forced to stop accepting new inmates and wouldn't be able to process paroles for the ones it's already holding.

The Arkansas Department of Corrections said yesterday it will write legislators so they're informed of the effects of any shutdown.

Governor Huckabee ordered state agencies to advise him of requirements for providing ``absolute bare bone service to protect public safety.''

The Legislature didn't come up with a funding program for schools by January first that met with a Supreme Court order from November 2002.

So, Bill Lewellen, a lawyer in the school-funding case, asked the court to close all but constitutionally mandated government services. Other agencies, including the state police, say they would be affected by a shutdown.

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