Arkansas state prison study underway

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Gov. Mike Beebe says a study of Arkansas' corrections system is being conducted to find a way to slow the growth in the state's prison population and corrections costs.

Beebe announced Friday that the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center on the States is doing the study, and already is compiling data on corrections trends with the help of state and local agencies. The study is expected to be completed in the fall.

Beebe says the prison population has more than doubled in the past 20 years and is expected to top 21,000 in the next decade.

He says the Pew team's analysis shows building and operating new prisons to accommodate that growth will cost Arkansas an estimated $1.1 billion between now and 2020.

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