LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The state Department of Community Correction (D.C.C.) responded to criticism from Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola for how the D.C.C. has supervised parolees.

D.C.C. spokesperson Rhonda Sharp said there's a public perception that crime rates are higher than they actually are. Documents she gave to THV 11 show declining crimes rates since the Arkansas Public Safety Improvement Act, better known as Act 570, went into effect. The law aims to reduce recidivism, hold offenders accountable and contain correction costs.

"Numbers are like anything else," Sharp said. "It depends on your perspective, your perception of those numbers... I think everyone in the state shares a little bit of responsibility. I'm not saying they're to blame for what a parolee does, but we're all responsible for what happens in our society."

The majority of the state's parolees get released to neighborhoods within the city of Little Rock, but when asked specifically about Little Rock's parolees and the officers who supervise them, Sharp said she needed more time to gather that information.

THV 11 followed up with an email to Sharp asking for information specific to the Little Rock D.C.C. office such as: How many officers are based in Little Rock, and how many parolees do they supervise?

Sharp said parole and probation officers across the state average 88 cases per officer, but she admits the caseload for officers in some urban areas is higher than that. Currently the D.C.C. has 402 officers supervising around 56,000 and probationers.

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