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Arkansas Prison Leaders Say They Are Out of Space

Despite the passage of Act 570, overcrowding is still at problem at state prisons.
PINE BLUFF, AR -- Lawmakers get an update on the state of Arkansas prisons.

The Arkansas Department of Correction provided the numbers.

Currently, the state has more than 13,467 inmates in its various units.

There are more inmates than there is room for, so some inmates are taking up space at county jails.

Although Act 570 was meant to eliminate overcrowding by providing lesser sentences to non-violent offenders, correction leaders say those offenders are committing crimes again when they are released.

"Just as the population grows, even if the percentage stays the way it is, when you have more people you're going to need more prison space because you have more people who will mess up," said Dina Tyler, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Community Correction.

Prison leaders said they need to build a new prison and construct it in phases with funding from a tax. They would need an increase in their budget to staff the prison.
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