Hutchinson calls for adjusting prison reform law

By ANDREW DeMILLOAssociated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Republican gubernatorial hopeful Asa Hutchinson says a 2011 law aimed at curbing Arkansas' prison population needs to be adjusted, as he called for increased funding for the state's parole and probation program.

On Tuesday, Hutchinson unveiled a set of proposals to address public safety and drug crimes. The ex-congressman said the proposals include a $1.3 million annual boost in funding to hire more parole officers, more re-entry programs for parolees and drug courts.

Hutchinson says he would also adjust the sentencing overhauls that the Legislature approved in 2011 as part of an effort to address prison overcrowding. Hutchinson said prosecutors need more flexibility than the law allows.

Hutchinson is running against Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Ross. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe is unable to run for re-election because of term limits.

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