LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas corrections officials say they'll ask lawmakers next year for between $75 million and $100 million to build a new prison to ease overcrowding.
Arkansas Department of Correction Director Ray Hobbs told a legislative panel on Thursday that his department's wish list for next year will include funding to build a new 1,000-inmate facility. Arkansas' prisons currently house more than 17,300 inmates, with 2,330 of them backed up in county jails.
The Legislature earlier this month approved setting aside $6 million to open up about 600 beds for state inmates housed at local jails. Hobbs said the department is beginning to move state inmates from those jails to the new beds.
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