LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' inmate population is already dropping before a law aimed at curbing state prison growth is scheduled to take effect.
A consultant for the state prison system told lawmakers Thursday that the state's prison population dropped by about 600 inmates from 16,146 in April to 15, 528 in June. Officials had originally projected that the prison system would see a slight increase during that same period.
Parole Board Chairman John Felts credited the drop partly to changes in parole practices that include quicker processing of cases of nonviolent offenders housed in county jails and serving sentences of less than two years before they're moved to state prisons.
Felts said the board made the changes ahead of a prison reform law that takes effect July 27.
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