LITTLE ROCK — A proposal by the Arkansas Department of Correction to add 400 lockdown cells to reduce prison violence would mean that about one-in-six cells would be for restrictive housing.
The state prison system already has more than 2,000 cells for use to quell prison violence or to hold inmates with medical issues. It said that, if Arkansas adds 400 lockdown cells, at least 16 percent of the prison system beds would be dedicated to inmates with certain restrictions.
The prison system announced the changes as legislators examined recent violence at a number of units. Guards and inmates have suffered injuries. The prisons chief says there is a shortage of guards. Inmates placed in lockdown would be held there for at least 22 hours a day.