About Arkansas Department of Corrections
Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) is responsible for the incarceration and rehabilitation of convicted felons, pre-trial detainees, misdemeanants, and Youthful Offenders. All convicts at ADC facilities must undergo evaluation by a licensed mental health professional within thirty days of their commitment. The result of this evaluation determines their placement in one of five security levels. ADC also operates a secure forensic unit for the Arkansas Department of Human Services, which houses sexually violent predators.
The Arkansas Department of Corrections has two divisions: the Division of Corrections (DOC) and the Division of Community Corrections (DCC). The Division of Corrections is in charge of housing and rehabilitating convicts sentenced by Arkansan courts. It manages 20 prison facilities for convicts in 12 counties within the state. This Division has its headquarters in Pine Bluff. Its mission is to provide public safety by:
- Carrying out court orders.
- Ensuring the safety of staff and prisoners.
- Strengthening the work ethic by instilling good habits.
- Providing opportunities for staff and inmates to grow spiritually, mentally, and physically.
The Division of Community Corrections conducts parole and probation, and reintegration process. The DCC has six centers in total, with headquarters in Two Union National Plaza in Little Rock. Interested parties can follow this link to access further details on these facilities.
The Procedure of Inmate Grievance under Arkansas Department of Corrections
The department divides this procedure into two; Informal Grievance Procedure and Formal Grievance Procedure.
Step One: Informal Grievance Resolution
A prisoner must complete the Unit Level Grievance Form within 15 days of the particular occurrence/incident. Inmates complaining about a sexual assault or mistreatment must include an “Emergency Grievance” indication besides the date on the Unit Level Grievance Form. Then, the inmate must deliver the form to any staff member.
Grievances under the PREA are not subject to the 15-day restriction. It is important to note that the department does not allow a prisoner to write or express grief on behalf of a fellow convict.
The grievance form provides a space where the complainants must write a concise statement relating to the complaint. Additionally, the inmate must include the date, location, employees involved and/or witnesses, and the self-impact of the incident. The officials must respond to the inmates’ grievances within three days failure to which the inmate has the right to continue to Step Two.
Step Two: Formal Grievance Procedure
Inmates must complete the Unit Grievance Form in the same manner as per Step One. These individuals can drop these forms at the provided dropbox or deliver them to a staff member, whichever they deem better. Arkansas requires the prison officials to coordinate with staff members to help inmates who cannot read and write.
The department allows inmates to submit three Step Two forms per week. The only time that this restriction doesn’t apply is during emergencies. Unsatisfied inmates may file an appeal with the relevant Chief or Assistant Director within five working days after receiving the response.
Here, the convict has exhausted all administrative options available to him or her.
Programs and Services Provision by the Arkansas Department of Corrections
The DOC requires offenders with interest in partaking in any institution’s programs to fill a request form. The prisoner must address the form to the particular coordinator of the program and send it via truck mail.
The Inmate Tablet Program
The Division has come up with a Tablet program that allows family members to lease and buy inmates tablets. The program comes at a low-cost monthly subscription fee. However, only eligible inmates can keep the tablet. The eligibility requirements include meeting specific educational qualifications and adhering to specified restrictions.
Convicts may use the tablets in many ways, including listening to music, reading books, playing games, and looking for employment opportunities. Others may decide to participate in college classes through their tablets. Furthermore, prisoners can also use them for making calls to people on the prison’s approval list. However, these calls must be per all regulations pertaining to the use of the inmate phone system.
Programs for Treatment of Sex Offenders
The DOC has come up with two programs to help sex offenders and, are gender-specific. The Reduction of Sexual Victimization Program (RSVP) is a program for male convicts, while the Sex Offender Treatment (SOFT) program is for female offenders. Both programs aim at reducing or eliminating obsessive sexual habits. Participation in the program is entirely optional. However, the Parole Board may impose it as a requirement for an inmate’s early release.
Act 309 Program
The DOC allows prisoners who meet the requirements of the Act 309 Program to move to their county or city jails. Eligibility requirements for this program are as follows:
- Participants must be Class I status-eligible.
- Time served in an ADC facility must be six months or more.
- They must be free from any disciplinary summons for the previous 90 days.
- The inmates must be capable of complying with the program’s rules and regulations.
Further, detainees with felony pending detainers against them must get transfer authorization from the agency responsible for the detainer. These individuals must also be within four years from their parole date for eligibility. Inmates who qualify for this program must have a medical status compatible with the job assignment they anticipate.
Moreover, authorities must notify the sheriff of the prisoner’s county of conviction and to the prosecuting attorney’s office. This must happen before the prisoner’s participation in the Act 309 Program. The ADC must also notify the victims or their families by letter at their last provided addresses.
Certain offenders cannot participate in the program depending on their criminal or disciplinary background.
Companion Dogs Program (Paws in Prison)
The Division of Corrections has come up with a companion dog training program in collaboration with animal rescue groups. It aims at preparing the dogs for adoption by community members. As such, the authorities do as much as possible to provide a secure and clean surrounding for the care and custody of the dogs.
Each convict who wishes to engage in this program must be aware of and agree with, the program’s objectives. However, inmates with prior convictions of animal cruelty or maltreatment cannot participate in the program.
The Division bases the qualifications for eligibility on:
- A good attitude.
- The duration of the sentence.
- Criminal background.
- A positive institutional behavior pattern/adjustment pattern.
- Mental and physical health.
Inmates who make attempts to hurt or attack the dogs will face disciplinary action. The Division advocates for the immediate removal of such inmates from the program in addition to any other sanctions. Then, a professional will evaluate the dog for any harm in assessing its continuity in the program.
Arkansas DOC Offender Locator
The Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) has launched a new website that offers information about inmates currently in ADC facilities. The department updates a list of all inmates housed by the facility each business day. However, the DOC inmate search does not show results for inmates in county jails.
The website gives individuals a chance to download the entire inmate database. However, this might be a hectic process when it comes to finding a particular inmate. As such, the DOC state prisoner lookup process narrows the search into a number of steps.
The initial step involves a visit to the official Arkansas Inmate Search website. The website is broad, giving the searcher a variety of options in getting accurate results. Individuals can use the inmate’s ADC number, name option, search by county, incarceration facility, Age, gender, and race of the offender. People do not necessarily have to fill in all the fields. The name field is the most crucial one, where filling in the first or last name, or both lists down any matching results.
Individuals who want more accurate results can use a combination of any of the above options. It’s important to note that only some of the results will include the inmate’s photos.
Arkansas DOC Sex Offender Search
The Arkansas Sex and Child Abuse Offender Registry contains information on sex offenders deemed as such under state law. The website also has information on convicts from another state or jurisdiction of crimes equivalent to one of the crimes currently designated as a sex offense in Arkansas and convicts of committing any lewd act with a child.
The department provides this information solely to aid public members in protecting themselves and their children from these offenders. The online registry contains all sex offenders. As such, it doesn’t matter whether:
- They are sexually violent or sexually dangerous.
- Their conviction was on a felony or misdemeanor charge.
- They are convicts of a single crime or multiple crimes.
The Department of Community Correction releases detailed information regarding registered sex offenders whose whereabouts are not available to the general public. The DCC does so through community correctional officers at the local level. However, the Community corrections officers have the discretion to determine their own policies regarding the release of sex offender information. Hence, they may refuse requests for this information if there is a clear and convincing need for confidentiality.
People can access this information by visiting the Arkansas Department of Public Safety website. It allows a sex offender to search by name or geographically in terms of county, city, or street name. Further, individuals can narrow the results by indicating the risk level of the offender.