Lawmakers To Free Up Space In State Prisons

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Local sheriffs said they needed help in relieving overcrowded county jails, and lawmakers responded this week by freeing up space in state prisons.

Sheriffs around the state say overcrowding in the jails can lead to violence.

“Something you could compare jail overcrowding to would be how about overcrowding of crocodiles or alligators when they`re lying on top of each other,” said Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck.

Cradduck said prison overcrowding is a daily problem.

“We have 600 inmates right now and 500 are comfortable,” Cradduck said.

Lawmakers met this week in a special session in Little Rock to help local sheriffs with overcrowding.

The state is making space available to move some prisoners out of county jails into state prisons.

“The legislature went back and amended the budget we passed in 2013 and added another 6.2 million dollars to the department of correction to open up 604 beds to relieve strain on our county jails,” said Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville).

Leding said it`s a short term fix.

“'I think long term we have to revisit sentencing,” Leding said.

As for Cradduck, he agrees this is short term but appreciates any help from the state.

“It`s a good start it is but we don`t want to find ourselves in a similar or worse situation 10 years down the road,” Cradduck said.

Lawmakers tell 5NEWS they will look for a long-term fix to prison overcrowding at the next session in January.


  • Dan-man

    500 inmates or comfortable. That’s great! I feel bad for the 100 that is uncomfortable. I wish there was something I could do to make their stay more pleasant.

  • gary j

    Easy solution. The hardcore prisoners: murderers, rapists, and child molesters, should be put to death.

    problem solved.

  • Johnny Trawickell

    I agree with Gary, relieve overcrowding by emptying out death row and changing sentence from life in prison to death. I don’t see why the taxpayer should house and feed someone for life.

  • Arnold Fudpucker

    Build prison camps like in Arizona. Barbed wire and tents with heavily armed guards. These vermin aren’t supposed to be coddled. If they don’t like the conditions then stay out of trouble like the rest of the productive society.

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