Arkansas Department of Correction

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The Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) is a state agency that operates state prisons. The agency has its headquarters in the Pine Bluff Complex in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Arkansas Correctional School provides educational services to ADC prisoners.[1]

History[edit]

In 1838 Governor of Arkansas James S. Conway signed legislation that permitted the establishment of the state's first penitentiary, the Arkansas State Penitentiary. In 1839 the State of Arkansas purchased a 92.41-acre (37.40 ha) tract in Little Rock where the first penitentiary was built; now the site houses the Arkansas State Capitol.[2] From 1849 to 1893 the State of Arkansas leased its convicted felons to private individuals. After abuses became publicized, the state assumed direct control of felons. The state continued to have prison labor be hired to contractors, manufacturers, and planters until 1913.[3] In 1899 the state signed legislation that lead to the move of the penitentiary to a new 15-acre (6.1 ha) site southwest of Little Rock. The prison, called "The Walls," opened in 1910. In 1902 the state purchased land that became the Cummins Unit. In 1913 act 55, signed into law, lead to the establishment of a permanent execution chamber in the state prison system. In 1916 the state purchased the land which became the Tucker Unit. In 1933 Junius Marion Futrell, then the governor, closed the penitentiary in Little Rock and transferred the prisoners to Cummins and Tucker, and the execution chamber was moved to Tucker.[2]

In 1943 the state established the State Penitentiary Board through Act 1. In 1951 the state established the State Reformatory for Women through act 351. The state moved the functions of the Arkansas State Training School for Girls to the state prison system. In 1968 the state reorganized the penitentiary system into the Arkansas Department of Correction through Act 50.[2]

In 2014 the state made a call for cities to submit bids to host a new maximum security prison.[4]

Operations[edit]

Varner Unit, one of the ADC parent units

For the diagnostic process, male inmates go to the Ouchita River Correctional Unit in Malvern, AR and women go to the McPherson Unit in Newport. Male death row inmates are housed at the Varner Super Max Unit while women with death sentences are received at McPherson. The death chamber is located at the Cummins Unit. [5]

After the intake process, most inmates go to a "parent unit" for their initial assignment. The male parent units are Cummins, East Arkansas, Grimes, Tucker, and Varner. The McPherson Unit is the female parent unit. The exceptions to the parent unit process are made for prisoners going to boot camp (the boot camp is in the Wrightsville Unit, unincorporated Pulaski County), health reasons, and security reasons. The initial assignments last for at least 60 days. Inmates may be moved to other units based on behavior, institutional needs, job availability, and available space.[5]

The ADC operates the Willis H. Sargent Training Academy in England, Arkansas.[6]

Headquarters[edit]

The headquarters are in Pine Bluff.[7][8] The ADC headquarters moved to the Pine Bluff Complex in 1979.[9] Previously they were located in the State Office Building in Little Rock.[10]

Death row[edit]

Cummins Unit serves as a parent unit for male prisoners and houses the State of Arkansas execution chamber

Death row inmates are located at the Varner Unit's Supermax, while the executions are performed at the Cummins Unit, adjacent to Varner.[11] The female death row is located at the McPherson Unit. In 1999 the female death row was newly inaugurated.[12]

In 1974 male death row inmates, previously at the Tucker Unit, were moved to the Cummins Unit.[9] In 1986 male death row inmates were moved to the Maximum Security Unit.[9] On Friday August 22, 2003, all 39 Arkansas death row inmates, all of them male, were moved to the Supermax at the Varner Unit.[13]

Demographics[edit]

As of June 3, 2015 the ADC has 18,681 prisoners. This is an increase from 1977, when it had 2,519 prisoners.[14] After a parole violator was accused of committing a 2013 murder,[15] the Arkansas Board of Corrections changed the conditions of parole, stating that any parolee accused of committing a felony must have his/her parole revoked, even if he/she has not yet been convicted of that felony. This caused the prison population to increase.[14]

Prisons[edit]

Prisons include:[16]

Facility Location
Benton Unit (capacity 325) off Highway 67 in Saline County, 5 miles (8 km) south of Benton
Boot Camp Program (capacity 212) off Highway 15 in Jefferson County, 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Pine Bluff
Cummins Unit off Highway 65 in Lincoln County, 28 miles (45 km) south of Pine Bluff
Delta Regional Unit (capacity 599) in Chicot County, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Pine Bluff
East Arkansas Regional Unit in Lee County, 17 miles (27 km) southeast of Forrest City
Grimes Unit off Highway 384 in Jackson County, 4 miles (6 km) northeast of Newport
J. Aaron Hawkins Sr. Center (capacity 212) off Highway 365 in Wrightsville, Pulaski County, 10 miles (16 km) south of Little Rock
Maximum Security Unit off Highway 15 in Jefferson County, 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Pine Bluff
McPherson Unit off Highway 384 in Jackson County, 4 miles (6 km) northeast of Newport
Mississippi County Work Release Center (capacity 121) off Meadow Road in Mississippi County, 1 mile (2 km) west of Luxora
North Central Unit (capacity 800) in Calico Rock, Izard County
Northwest Arkansas Work Release Center (capacity 100) in Springdale, Washington County
Ouachita River Unit off Highway 67 South in Hot Spring County, 2 miles (3 km) south of Malvern
Pine Bluff Unit (capacity 430) off West 7th Street in Jefferson County, west of Pine Bluff
Randall L. Williams Correctional Center (capacity 562) West of Pine Bluff, off West 7th St., (Pine Bluff Complex) in Jefferson County
Texarkana Regional Correction Center (capacity 128) off East 5th Street in Texarkana, Miller County
Tucker Unit off Highway 15 in Tucker, Jefferson County, 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Pine Bluff
Varner Unit off Highway 65 in Varner, Lincoln County, 28 miles (45 km) south of Pine Bluff
Wrightsville Unit off Highway 365 in Wrightsville, Pulaski County, 10 miles (16 km) south of Little Rock

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ADC Facilities." Arkansas Correctional School. Retrieved on July 18, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Prison History and Gallery." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on March 5, 2011.
  3. ^ Federal Writers' Project. Arkansas: A Guide to the State. US History Publishers, 1958. 277. Retrieved from Google Books on March 5, 2011. ISBN 1-60354-004-0, ISBN 978-1-60354-004-9
  4. ^ "Cities to answer state's want ad for new prison" (Archive). Associated Press, Courier News, July 31, 2014. Retrieved on September 22, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Guide for Family and Friends Archived August 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.." (Archive) Arkansas Department of Correction. 6 . Retrieved on March 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "Training FAQ." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on September 22, 2015. "The Willis H. Sargent Training Academy is located at 1500 NE 1st St , England, AR 72046. "
  7. ^ "Pine Bluff city, Arkansas." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 7, 2010.
  8. ^ "Facilities." Arkansas Department of Correction. Retrieved on December 8, 2009. "Central Office Location: West of Pine Bluff on Princeton Pike Road in Jefferson Country"
  9. ^ a b c "2006 Facts Brochure" (). Arkansas Department of Correction. July 1, 2005-June 30, 2006. 26 (26/38). Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  10. ^ Reagen, Michael V. and Donald M. Stoughton/ School Behind Bars: A Descriptive Overview of Correctional Education in the American Prison System. The Scarecrow Press, 1976. "174. Retrieved from Google Books on March 6, 2011. "Arkansas Department of Corrections State Office Building Little Rock, Arkansas 72201" ISBN 0-8108-0891-9, ISBN 978-0-8108-0891-1.
  11. ^ "State Capitol Week in Review." State of Arkansas. June 13, 2008. Retrieved on August 15, 2010. "Executions are carried out in the Cummins Unit, which is adjacent to Varner."
  12. ^ Haddigan, Michael. "They Kill Women, Don't They?" Arkansas Times. April 9, 1999. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  13. ^ "Death Row On The Move" (Archive). KAIT. August 26, 2003. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  14. ^ a b Millar, Lindsey. "Arkansas's prison population continues to climb ." Arkansas Times. June 17, 2015. Retrieved on March 2, 2016.
  15. ^ Millar, Lindsey. "Arkansas's prison population, and related expense, is exploding ." Arkansas Times. July 13, 2015. Retrieved on March 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Facilities". Arkansas Department of Correction. 

External links[edit]