Arkansans Organizing for Justice (AOJ) is a grassroots movement that wants to encourage fairness in sentencing and to focus on those serving life, life without parole, and other long term sentences who could safely be returned to their communities.
In the past three decades, the number of prisons in
Arkansas has increased from three to more than twenty. Many of those in prison are serving life
terms. According to a 2009 report by the
Sentencing Project, over 13% or approx. 1,917 Arkansas inmates have life or life without parole.
The increase in Arkansas’s prison population is a result
of the “tough on crime” politics.
Policies such as the 70% law, restrictions on the use of good time
allowance and a decrease in the use of parole and sentence commutation prove to
be a problem, rather than a solution.
Unreasonable policies such as these, use valuable
resources to warehouse inmates, many into old age. The strain on the
state’s budget in areas such education and infrastructure is becoming a major concern. The prison budget exceeds one-third (1/3) of a billion
It simply does not make sense to continue spending millions of dollars to incarcerate prisoners well into old age.
These prisoners statistically prove to be the safest risk of all other released persons. The continued numbers in recidivism and re-arrests of short time offenders reinforces this issue.
collectively, we simply do not believe that these policies/ practices are
working or make us safer.