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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A state panel has approved a deal to house as many as 250 Arkansas inmates at an unused portion of the Pulaski County jail as part of an effort to ease prison overcrowding.

The Board of Corrections on Monday approved leasing the satellite unit of the Pulaski County jail for $1 to house inmates that have been backed up at county facilities across the state. The state planned to move about 50 inmates to the facility Monday.

The move is part of a $6 million plan approved by lawmakers earlier this month to open about 600 beds across the state for state inmates crowding local prisons. Corrections officials are asking for $100 million next year to build a new state prison.

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