Arkansas’ Criminal Justice System Could Face Major Reforms

Arkansas Matters

By Ellen Lampe

Major reforms to the state’s Criminal Justice System could be coming under a new bill filed Tuesday.
Among other things, it seeks to slow growth in the prison population.
Included in the reforms is a measure preventing parolees who commit non-violent misdemeanors or parole violations from being sent back to prison to serve lengthy terms.
“We were trying to avoid having somebody spend 14 months in our Department of Corrections because they wrote a hot check and they happened to be on probation when they did it,” State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson, (R) Little Rock, said.
But the plan is already receiving pushback from some who worry it could lead to an increase in crime. To drive home his opposition, one prosecutor created a comic poking fun at the reform concepts. It even includes an illustration of a prison inmate giving a high five to a task force consultant.