Arkansas Prison Population Soars After Changes

Arkansas Prison Population Soars After Changes

Officials say prisons are "busting at the seams" as Arkansas' inmate population soars because of changes to the parole system.
PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - Officials say prisons are "busting at the seams" as Arkansas' inmate population soars because of changes to the parole system.

Arkansas Department of Correction Director Ray Hobbs says the state has 16,867 people in custody, whether they're in prisons or county jails awaiting a bed in a state facility. Hobbs said Thursday that prisons were at 106.4 percent capacity for men and 107.2 percent for women.

Correction Department spokeswoman Shea Wilson tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that inmates are "double-bunking" but many are still housed in county jails.

Officials say the population has increased because of changes enacted after a repeat parole absconder was arrested on a murder charge this year. The new policy mandates that any parolee awaiting a parole revocation hearing must remain locked up until the hearing.

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