Lawmaker: Send Violent Parolees Back for Full Prison Term

Politics
LITTLE ROCK, AR — A bill filed could have major implications for public safety and criminal justice in Arkansas.

It would force parolees who commit violent felonies to go back to prison and serve the rest of their original sentence.
   
Convicts in Arkansas serve, on average, about 44 percent of their sentenced term. Statistics show that when they get out, about 43 percent will be sent back to prison within three years.
   
It’s what some refer to as the revolving door of the criminal justice system — something for which some prosecutors and lawmakers have long sought a fix.

A bill filed by State Senator David Sanders (R-Little Rock), would focus “on those people who rape, maim, kill and do so indiscriminately,” he said.

Sanders says he’s still working out details of the legislation, and it’s too early to tell how much it would cost the state. But, he believes, the approach will reduce crime rates and their taxing effects on the criminal justice system.

The governor has already laid out his public safety plan and how to pay for it. He and other lawmakers warned against further measures putting additional strain on an already overcrowded prison system.
   
Senator Sanders could face some opposition within his own party as he tries to shepherd this bill through the legislature.

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