The Arkansas State Prison System
Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) helps maintain safety in society through its divisions, which are the Division of Correction (DOC), the Division of Community Corrections (DCC), and the Arkansas Correctional School District. The DOC works with law enforcement agencies and state courts to fulfill state law mandates. While the DOC focuses on incarceration and inmate care, the DCC manages community partnerships and cost-effective programs while holding offenders accountable. The DCC manages probation supervision and adult parole. The DCC also oversees the management of licensed residential treatment centers. Overall, the DCC supervises up to 60,000 offenders in Arkansas.
Through its divisions, the ADC aims to change offender behavior and provide programs that help offenders become productive members of society upon re-entry.
What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison in Arkansas?
Arkansas jails and prisons have different functions and forms. Jails are typically smaller, designed to hold smaller numbers of people. For example, the Arkansas County jail has a 136-person capacity. Jails hold persons sentenced to short terms, from persons held overnight because of a DUI/DWI to persons awaiting trial. The maximum jail term for misdemeanors in Arkansas is one year; as such, persons convicted of misdemeanors serve time in county jails. Typically, county sheriffs and local law enforcement manage county jails.
Unlike jails, prisons are bigger and hold more people. Persons who violate felony offenses in the state spend the prison term in Arkansas prisons. The Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) oversees prisons in the state. Prisons have different security levels.
How Many Prisons are in Arkansas?
There are about 22 correctional facilities that the ADC oversees, including work centers, re-entry centers, and a training academy.
Barbara Ester Unit
Delta Regional Unit
East Arkansas Regional Unit
J. Aaron Hawkins Sr. Center
Maximum Security Unit
Mississippi County Work Release Center
North Central Unit
Northwest Arkansas Work Release Center
Ouachita River Unit
Pine Bluff Re-Entry Center
Pine Bluff Unit
Randall L. Williams Correctional Facility
Texarkana Regional Correction Center
Varner/Varner Supermax Unit
Willis H. Sargent Training Academy
How do I search for an Inmate in Arkansas State Prison?
In the interest of public safety, the Arkansas Department of Corrections offers an Inmate Search tool on its website. Interested parties may search using the inmate’s:
- ADC number
- First name
- Last name
- Facility or location
- Offense category
Requesting parties may also download the full inmate database. Alternatively, interested persons may find inmates in Arkansas prisons by contacting the administrative officers in each facility by mail, phone, or fax.
Are Incarceration Records Public in Arkansas?
Incarceration records are public in Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Citizens of the state may request incarceration or criminal history records. Only Arkansans may request access to or copy public records in the state. The law mandates government agencies to respond to public records requests within three (3) days. Records custodians may charge fees to produce copies of requested records; however, such parties or agencies may only charge the actual copy cost and mailing costs. Arkansas’ FOIA promotes public safety and transparency in governance. The Department of Public Safety offers a free criminal background search portal; interested parties may find criminal history information through the portal. Arkansas State Police also offer criminal background checks. Persons with signed consent from the record’s subject may perform criminal background checks at $22 for each search. Persons without the record subject’s consent or persons performing criminal history checks for personal inquiry may perform open criminal history searches at $24 per search. For inquiries about criminal history information and criminal background checks, interested parties may contact the Arkansas State Police Department by mail, telephone, or email.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.
Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.
How to Look Up Jail Records in Arkansas?
Jail records contain information that the local government agencies such as counties and local police departments maintain about an incarcerated person. Jail records may contain information such as the inmates:
- First name
- Last name
- Birth Date
- Arrest and booking details
- Primary charges
- Bond or bail conditions
- Prospective release date
Interested parties may look up jail records in Arkansas by contacting the county sheriff or the local police department in the county where the offender is incarcerated. Requesting parties may also contact the jail administrator in the jail that holds the inmate of interest. In some counties, such as Faulkner County, the Sheriff’s Office provides inmate rosters online. Other counties provide contact information for jail administrators and Sheriffs. Interested parties must contact each local agency directly to determine the best way to obtain jail records. Alternatively, interested parties may search third-party websites for information about jail records in particular counties.
Can Jail Records be Expunged in Arkansas?
In Arkansas, expungement returns the record holder to a pre-conviction state. When the court grants an expungement order, the record no longer exists in the eyes of the law, and the offense never occurred. Additionally, the conviction will no longer affect the record holder’s civil rights. In Arkansas, expunged records are only available to:
- The record subject
- The court
- Criminal justice agencies for application purposes
- Arkansas Crime Information Center
For non-conviction records, interested parties may file for expungement one year after the arrest. Persons convicted of misdemeanor offenses must wait 60 days after meeting all the sentence requirements to file a motion for sealing or expungement.
To file for expungement or sealing in Arkansas, the record holder may file a motion with the Circuit Court in the county where the offense occurred.