Little Rock City Limits (Photo: Google Maps)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - In speaking with Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola, he told THV 11 about a recent study that found three zip codes here in Little Rock take in the majority of Arkansas' released prisoners. THV 11 obtained a copy of that report on Wednesday.
"The report is right on," said Leta Anthony, director of the Lewis-Burnett Employment Finders. That organization helps former inmates find jobs, housing and services once they're out of prison.
Last month, she received the results of a study done by the Clinton School of Public Service which shows three area codes in Little Rock are receiving more released prisoners than the rest of Arkansas combined. Those zip codes are 72204, 72206 and 72209.
"There may be a case where we're perpetuating crime neighborhoods because of where people can live and where they can't live," said Anthony. She believes a number of factors play into those three area codes taking in so many released prisoners. One may be the fact that it's home for them, another factor may be that housing in other areas of town can be difficult to get if you have a felony on your criminal record.
Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola said he wants to see better monitoring of the prisoners that come to Little Rock.
"It's very frustrating," Stodola said. "The police arrest somebody, they get them booked into the county jail, they get a low bail, they get out, and they go commit more burglaries until they get caught again."
"I agree with him that there are some things we can work on with D.C.C.," Anthony added. "But, I think there are some things that he needs to address within the city of Little Rock...There is enough blame for us all. I understand the concern of the mayor. I would be too if half of my house was on fire. How do we put it out?"
The Department of Community Correction has 402 officers tracking more than 56,000 parolees and probationers.
There are numerous resources available to recently released prisoners in Arkansas including the Lewis-Burnett Employment Finders and the Central Arkansas Re-entry Coalition.
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