Arkansas to Release Nearly 700 Inmates Early to Ease Crowded Prisons - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Pine Bluff, AR

Arkansas to Release Nearly 700 Inmates Early to Ease Crowded Prisons

MAY 31, 2006 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CST

 

PINE BLUFF, AR - Arkansas' Board of Corrections voted yesterday to invoke the Emergency Powers Act and to grant parole early to 665 inmates.

Dina Tyler, a spokeswoman for the corrections department, said the Emergency Powers Act advances the release date for inmates by up to 90 days and has been used every 90 days since November 1998.  It has been used every 90 days since November 1998.

Tyler said the 609 male inmates and 56 female inmates will be granted parole in the next 90 days.

The act aims to free up space to move inmates out of county jails and into state prisons.  Larger counties such as Pulaski and Washington typically have the highest number of inmates awaiting state prison beds.

There are now 552 inmates in county jails awaiting state prison beds.  Tyler said that number has been as high as 1,500 in recent years.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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