Private Jail Proposed For 2 Southern Arkansas Counties

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PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) — The director of the Arkansas Department of Correction says it is negotiating with two counties to house prisoners at a proposed private regional jail.

Director Wendy Kelley told legislators on Friday (Sept. 28) that the agency is negotiating terms of an agreement with Bradley and Drew counties for a proposed regional jail.

Department of Correction spokesman Solomon Graves told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that officials are working with the counties to hammer out details for the private contractor, LaSalle Corrections of Louisiana, to house state prisoners at the proposed jail.

The privately-run jail would house about 450 state inmates and provide about 50 beds for Arkansas Community Correction. A certain number of beds would be reserved for each of the participating counties.

The state prison system has about 16,000 inmates.