Bill Details Governor’s Plan for Public Safety
LITTLE ROCK, AR — Details about the governor’s plan for public safety are becoming more clear with a bill filed in the state legislature.
Part of the focus is on keeping ex-convicts from getting sent back to prison. The three-year recidivism rate in Arkansas is 44 percent. In effort to decrease that number, the governor and supporters want to create a “pay-for-success” program.
It will incentivise public and private programs like the one at Our House that work in education and job readiness to help former inmates to be productive members of the community once they’re released.
“A person who has been incarcerated, once they get out may not have a solid support system,” said reentry program coordinator Bailey Noland. “They’re going to have a hard time finding a job. They’re going to have a hard time finding housing, getting connected with benefits, transportation.”
Sb 472 would also change the parole board making it easier for the governor to remove board members and allowing the board more authority to deny inmates parole.
Once parolees are back on the streets they would face more scrutiny, the bill would allow police officers to perform warrantless searches.
Also in the governors public safety program is money to make room for 790 new prisoners through a mixture of expanded county and state facilities and by sending some inmates to a prison in Texas.
Those aspects of the governor’s plan are expected to come to fruition through other bills filed during the session.