The Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) recently experienced the highest one-year increase in inmate population, 17.7 percent, in the department’s history after introducing new parole enforcement guidelines meant to cut back on repeat violators, reported KUAR News. As such, ADC officials are considering new strategies for reentry programs and housing due to the inmate population increase.
St. Louis-based Parsons Brinckerhoff was recently awarded a contract to design a replacement facility for the Fulton State Mental Hospital, the first public mental institution west of the Mississippi River. Today, it houses the state’s only maximum-security psychiatric facility, the Biggs Forensic Center.
Hidalgo County Commissioners have approved schematic designs for a new multimillion-dollar courthouse that could be completed as early as 2020. Though the approval did not give the project an official green light, or provide funding, it will allow the design process to move forward.
The lack of specialized housing for inmates with severe mental illness in the soon to be completed Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) is the latest point of contention for the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO) and the city’s mayor. Though the new 433,000-square foot prison will improve significantly on New Orleans’ hurricane-ravaged correctional facilities, it currently does not include a unit for inmates living with acute and sub-acute mental illness. This has prompted Sheriff Marlin Gusman to propose construction of another new correctional facility.
As the result of the botched lethal injection execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett in April 2014, as well as a nationwide shortage of lethal injection drugs, some of the 32 states that practice capital punishment now are examining alternative methods.
UBL Design Group, based in Bismarck, in cooperation with New York-based Venture Architects presented design plans for the new combined Burleigh/Morton County jail to commissioners from Burleigh County, Morton County, Bismarck and Mandan in April.
Female and juvenile inmates at the Missoula County Detention Facility finally got what they wanted earlier this month. The county completed two outdoor recreation areas for juveniles and women incarcerated at the jail, giving them access to fresh air, sunlight and outdoor exercise — all of which had been previously unavailable to them.