July 28, 2014
1:26 pm
RAIN:  7AM to 7AM:  .00"    Month:  3.58”    Year:  26.69”   |  TEMPS:  High: 89  Low: 67
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B-C sheriff supports legislative session to deal with overcrowding



     Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says he supports an effort by the Arkansas Sheriffs' Association to get the governor to call a special legislative session to address jail and prison overcrowding. The association this week called for a special session for lawmakers to consider capping the number of state inmates in county jails and approve funding to send some prisoners to privately run prisons.
     Montgomery says it's a statewide problem and no relief is in sight.
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     Montgomery says the governor has indicated he won't call a special session unless there's a consensus among lawmakers to act on the issue. As a result, the association is also lobbying legislators.
     The census in the Baxter County Detention Facility frequently has been running between 95 and 100 prisoners due to the beds taken up by prisoners waiting for space in the Department of Corrections.
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     The veteran Baxter County sheriff says the situation continues to cause budget problems for county jails.
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    A possible short term solution is for the legislature to allocate funds to send some prisoners to neighboring states that have bed space available. Governor Beebe unsuccessfully sought funds this past legislative session for a study to build a prison. Montgomery believes prison expansion is part of the answer to the problem.
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    Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery on the Arkansas Sheriffs' Association call for a legislative session to deal with prison and county jail overcrowding.

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