Gubernatorial candidate calls for prison population decrease

October 1, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Democratic nominee for Arkansas governor has proposed cutting the prison population by 20 percent over the next eight years.

Jared Henderson also proposes increasing the number of parole and probation officers to combat increasing corrections costs.

Henderson said Monday that reducing prison populations would offset initial costs for other aspects of his plans, including hiring more community correction officers, and would eliminate the need for a $600 million new prison. He gave few specifics on actual costs or funding, however.

Henderson proposed increasing mental illness and addiction treatment, deprioritizing drug possession and reducing punishments for technical and minor probation violations to reduce inmate populations.

A spokesman for Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson called Henderson’s proposal “naive and dangerous” and said Hutchinson has already implemented many additional reforms in Henderson’s proposal.

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