LITTLE ROCK – At a media briefing today, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced an expansion of the Intensive Supervision Program to monitor high-risk offenders. The Governor along with the First Lady, and Dr. Jose Romero received their 2nd booster shot for COVID-19.
Intensive Supervision Program
Governor Hutchinson noted that the recent uptick in violent crime is an issue that local authorities must deal with but affirmed that the state also has a few steps they can take to help. Governor Hutchinson announced the expansion of the Intensive Supervision Program (ISP) based on the recommendations of Secretary Solomon Graves and the Division of Community Correction. The Division of Community Correction reinstated the ISP program in 2017 following the Power Ultra Lounge shooting. The program is currently comprised of four officers who monitor offenders in Pulaski County.”There is a segment of our parole population that is high risk, they need a closer level of contact by our officers,” Secretary Graves said, “This ISP program will do that not just in Pulaski County, but in our communities that border our larger metropolitan areas.”
This new expansion will add 10 ISP officers to the program which will cover five counties including Lonoke, Jefferson, Faulkner, Saline, and Pulaski.The goal of the program is to provide a higher level of support, and supervision to those who pose a higher risk of violent crimes.”These are those that have spent time in prison released on parole, that are trying to get a second start in life, and we want to be able to help them to do that.” Governor Hutchinson said, “But you have an element of those who pose a greater risk than others and that is the design of the ISP program that focuses on high-risk offenders.”
The program expansion will cost $1,091,585 to start the expansion, and then have an ongoing cost of $820,395 a year. Both costs will need approval from the General Assembly, and the Governor is hopeful they will support this expansion.
The FDA and CDC have now made a second booster shot available to certain populations and recommend that those older than 50 and who are immunocompromised get the shot. Governor Hutchinson, the First Lady, and Dr. Jose Romero received their second booster shot, stating that it is the best protection against severe illness and to boost immunity to COVID-19.
Governor Hutchinson announced that Dr. Jose Romero has been offered a high-level job with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and he will be resigning from the Arkansas Department of Health in May. “We are grateful for his service, and I haven’t had a better partner through this pandemic, he has supported me and supported our state,” Governor Hutchinson said, “While it’s a great loss to Arkansas he has developed a strong team in the Department of Health.”