Three communities apply for prison project, deadline nears

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - The deadline for local communities to submit an application to the Arkansas Department of Correction for the construction of a maximum security prison is Friday, October 24th. However, only three organizations have officially expressed interest to the state, according to the ADC.

According to ADC Assistant Director of Administrative Services Mike Carraway, the City of Augusta, Mississippi County Economic Development Commission and Pike County have applied to host a state prison. Carraway said before a community is considered for a new prison, leaders are required to complete a "Request for Expression of Interest Site-Evaluation Questionnaire".

The 1,000 bed maximum security facility is expected to cost Arkansas $75-million. Once the prison is constructed, state and local lawmakers hope the project will reduce prison overcrowding.

The over-crowding issue has impacted local county and city jails, with some facilities holding state inmates for months at a time.

However, even with a new prison, overcrowding could become an issue. Right now, the Arkansas Department of Correction has enough room for 2,700 inmates.

Those communities interested in hosting a state prison must have at least 400 acres of land, along with access to hospital facilities and workforce training. Once the facility is complete, the ADC said approximately 300 people would be employed at an hourly wage of $12.75.

The facility will also take approximately three years to construct.

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