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LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas corrections officials are talking about prison crowding with lawmakers, just a couple weeks after the Legislature approved additional money aimed at opening more beds for state inmates.

Department of Correction Director Ray Hobbs and Department of Community Correction Director Sheila Sharp are scheduled to speak to a joint House and Senate panel Thursday about prison crowding.

The Legislature earlier this month set aside about $6 million to open up about 600 more beds for state inmates who have been crowding local jails. Law enforcement officials and lawmakers have said a longer term solution is needed to the overcrowding problem.

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