Hutchinson: jail overcrowding must be tackled with balance

Hutchinson: jail overcrowding must be tackled with balance
(Source: Raycom Media)


County jails in Arkansas continue to battle overcrowding issues and it's a problem that many people, including Governor Asa Hutchinson, are looking at closely.

"A couple adjustments have been made," Hutchinson told Region 8 News. "Last week, some of the backlog in our county jails have been reduced, so I'm encouraged by that."

Last week, the Arkansas Parole Board announced changes to alleviate overcrowding in jails by evaluating the release of some state inmates.

Hutchinson said the main goal in easing overcrowding issues will be balance.

"Making sure that we have capacity to for our prisoners that are a danger to our society but at the same time making sure we're not bankrupting our budget on that," Hutchinson said.

The backlog of Arkansas Department of Correction inmates in county jails has grown over the past two years. Hutchinson said he believes they are on the right path to reduce that number.

"We're trying to strike the right balance to put in more money for parole officers. We've put in money for some re-entry centers, but in addition, we've built more capacity and I think that's starting to relieve some of the overcrowding."

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