The AP reported yesterday that the PEER subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council signed off on a request from Gov. Asa Hutchinson for yet more money for prison beds: $7.4 million to open an additional 200 spaces in Pine Bluff, plus $2.6 million from state reserves for housing more inmates in Bowie County, Texas.
The request is on top of the tens of millions approved during the 2015 session for addressing the overcrowding of inmates in county jails.
It’s the governor’s latest attempt to alleviate some of the pressure on Arkansas’s corrections system, which has been overwhelmed these the past two years by a flood of parole revocations.
The money requires approval from the full Legislative Council, which is meeting on Friday at 9 a.m.
I’m looking for clarity about exactly where the money is coming from. I’ll update this post later if I get a response from the Department of Correction.