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For Immediate Release 02.18.2015

Governor Asa Hutchinson Announces Prison Expansion & Public Safety Plan

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson, in a news conference Wednesday morning, announced his Prison Expansion and Public Safety plan to address prison overcrowding and reentry programs.

Governor Hutchinson issued the following statement:

“As every sheriff and prosecutor will tell you, there is a crying need for more prison space. The lack of bed space in prison has resulted in the current backlog in the county jails, repeat offenders being released on bond because there is no room in the county facility, and continued use of the Emergency Powers Act that provides early release from prison because of overcrowding.

“Arkansas is experiencing a dangerous chain reaction that puts public safety at risk. Until this cycle is broken, the prison overcrowding will jeopardize the other critical budget needs of our state — from education to highways.

“The cycle can only be broken by a three-part approach to criminal offenses: (1) more prison space; (2) a more effective parole and reentry system; and (3) investing in alternative and accountable sentencing programs for non-violent offenders.”

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