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The Board of Correction on Tuesday unanimously approved making 742 inmates eligible for early release immediately by invoking the Emergency Powers Act to ease prison crowding.

The board has routinely invoked its emergency powers every 90 days for nearly 20 years in order to free up bed space for a backlog of prisoners waiting to be transported from county jails, according to prison spokesman Solomon Graves.

On Tuesday, 614 men and 128 women were made eligible for early release. However, some will still need to take additional steps before they are allowed to leave prison, Graves said.

The releases are broken up into 30-day windows during the next three months.

The board's action affects prisoners who have already been approved for parole by moving ahead their release dates to within the 90-day window, so long as they complete all the conditions of their release. Other inmates who are now eligible for early release must still get approval from the parole board.

According to the Department of Correction, there were 15,002 men and 1,369 women housed in state prisons Tuesday, more than 107 percent of the department's capacity.

The county jail backlog was at 1,243 men and 58 women Tuesday, according to the department.

Metro on 11/23/2016

Print Headline: Prisons full, board OKs release for 742


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Archived Comments

  • DontSweatIt
    November 23, 2016 at 9:12 a.m.

    This is so stupid! Why release these criminals when Little Rock's crime rate has skyrocketed? It doesn't make any sense at all! Keep allowing the thugs to take over our great city!!

    November 23, 2016 at 12:40 p.m.

    Guv Asa refused to spend $100 million that DOC needed for new prison in 2015 budget. They decided to give us a one-tenth of one percent income tax cut - that's ten cents on $100 tax liability. Now, they have to release over 700 criminals back into society b/c of overcrowding. WOW?? Thanks Asa and Repub legislature.

  • nana1965
    December 12, 2016 at 11:08 a.m.

    All this over crowding could be solved if ADC would simply reevaluate there accounting system I am aware of 4 inmates who have passed there parole eligibility dates yet because of a type O and refusal by the accounts department to simply correct this issue they are are serving 7/8/9 months above required time all are none violent offenders
    I have confirmed emails stating that all time 0n one inmate was served as of october 26,2016 yet his te date still reflects 7/6/2017 you want to thin out population fix your accounts department
    Oh yea by the way this same inmate was told after we collected all the proof
    To shut up sit down and stop rocking the boat or else he would be sorry seems to me if you wanted to fix it you would start at head of accounting first Can provide emails if needed. ADC stop the overcrowding by releasing those whom have done there time and are eligible to be released