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Update on Plans for Regional Jail, in Drew County

January 30th, 2017 by


Representative Jeff Wardlaw announced that he has met with Governor Hutchinson, who has voiced support for a regional jail facility in concept. The Governor has also met with Arkansas Board of Correction Chairman Benny Magness, Director of the Arkansas Department of Corrections Wendy Kelley, proprietors of LaSalle private prison business Billy McConnell and Pat Temple as well as other private prison industry leaders, and Governor’s staff to determine the feasibility of a regional jail facility in Arkansas.

According to Wardlaw, “I have found there is some confusion and questions about the possibility of a regional jail in Southeast Arkansas and I wanted to explain some of the requirements necessary before a decision is made and the facility is cleared to go forward.”

“First the impacted county will be given guidance on how to form an equitable relationship as working partners with the private corporation to assure the state that it will be partnering with a stable company that has a proven track record in this field.”

“Secondly, other consideration will include: the number of state inmates required to be dedicated to that facility; the duration of the state obligation; the consistent compliance with the requirement for programming for rehabilitation; the risk factors for inmates appropriate for the regional facility; the exclusion of any class of inmates requested by the business; the consistent compliance with all accreditation standards of the ACA and standards of the Arkansas Department of Corrections; and the consistent compliance with the standards of the Arkansas Department of Corrections for employees of the private facility.”

“Finally, once the state and the private prison business reach agreed upon terms for a contract, and the documentation is provided by the counties to satisfy the requirements of the law, the agreements will be submitted to the Department of Finance and Administration for approval and guidance for implementation. After all of those requirements are met will construction begin.”

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