protect arkansas act

Arkansas Legislature set to formally adjourn 2023 session next week

BY: - April 28, 2023

This year’s legislative session wrapped up three weeks ago, but the Arkansas General Assembly plans to officially adjourn “sine die” on Monday. Sine die — a Latin phrase for “without day” — means the Legislature will adjourn indefinitely. Adjournment sine die also triggers several legal processes, starting the 90-day clock for new acts to become […]

A picture of the common area of a prison with glimpse inside a cell.

Expansion projects paused as Arkansas decides how to increase prison capacity

BY: - April 24, 2023

While Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has made expanding the state’s prison capacity a priority, three projects started under the previous administration are on hold for now. The early stages of those efforts — an expansion of a prison in North Arkansas and the new construction of a 1,000-bed prison and a separate 300-bed community […]

SESSION SNAPSHOT: The 94th Arkansas General Assembly adjourns

BY: - April 7, 2023

That sound you hear is the rejoicing of lawmakers, lobbyists, reporters and legislative staff that the 2023 legislative session is over. The Arkansas House of Representatives and Senate each met Friday morning to consider the final bills of the session before adjourning. They will still return in a few weeks to override any vetoes (none […]

Arkansas parole overhaul tweaked after House committee concerns

BY: - April 5, 2023

The sponsor of legislation to restructure Arkansas’ criminal sentencing and parole system made a pair of small changes to the bill after lawmakers raised concerns over a series of hearings the last two days. Under the initial version of Senate Bill 495, negligent homicide would have been upgraded to a felony in all instances, but […]

A picture of the common area of a prison with glimpse inside a cell.

Arkansas Senate votes for ‘truth in sentencing’ bill, bucking national and international trends

BY: - April 3, 2023

The proposed overhaul to Arkansas’ criminal sentencing and parole system moves in the opposite direction of several surrounding states and most of the U.S. and world.  Facing a growing body of research that more incarceration does not lower violent crime rates, policymakers elsewhere have focused on criminal justice measures that reduce the number of offenders in […]

Anti-abortion activists celebrate Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court ended a woman's right to abortion.

SESSION SNAPSHOT: With a week to go, the Arkansas Legislature kicks it into high gear

BY: - March 31, 2023

It happens every legislative session. As adjournment nears, Arkansas lawmakers cram their biggest priorities through before it’s too late. House and Senate floor sessions go longer, and committees meet well into the night. Trying to keep up with all the legislation advancing, failing and stalling felt like drinking through a fire hose at times this […]

What is the Protect Arkansas Act?

BY: - March 28, 2023

State lawmakers this week introduced a massive overhaul of Arkansas’ parole system. The 132-page “Protect Arkansas Act” includes “truth-in-sentencing” changes that Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders campaigned on, removing the possibility of parole for those convicted of the most serious crimes. But it also extends the time that nearly all convicted felons must spend in prison […]

Governor-backed bill to change Arkansas’ parole and criminal justice system introduced

BY: - March 27, 2023

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday revealed legislation that proposes restructuring Arkansas’ parole system and eliminating parole eligibility for those convicted of the most violent offenses. The new Republican governor also announced that the state would seek to build a new 3000-bed prison. “Truth in sentencing” has been one of Sanders’ main priorities on the […]