Hutchin­son to OK prison con­tract de­spite law­mak­ers’ wor­ries

The Saline Courier - - DAILY DISPATCH - The As­so­ci­ated Press

LIT­TLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchin­son has said he will hire an In­di­ana com­pany to op­er­ate five state youth pris­ons, de­spite law­mak­ers con­cerns about the com­pany’s op­er­a­tions in other states.

The Arkansas Democratga­zette re­ports the Arkansas Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil voted

9-5 Fri­day against a con­tract with Youth Op­por­tu­nity In­vest­ments, LLC, but the gov­er­nor has said he will over­ride that vote.

Law­mak­ers say Youth Op­por­tu­nity has been is­sued more than a dozen writ­ten ci­ta­tions for poor per­for­mance in other states and crit­i­cized what they say was a cur­sory re­view of the com­pany.

Gov. Hutchin­son said he was “dis­ap­pointed” with the law­mak­ers’ de­ci­sion, and said youth fa­cil­i­ties are mon­i­tored closely to en­sure chil­dren are cared for “prop­erly and safely.”

Youth Op­por­tu­nity will be­gin op­er­at­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Der­mott, Har­ris­burg, Lewisville and Mans­field on July 1.

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