In 1993 the Arkansas Legislature passed the Community Punishment Act (548) establishing the Department of Community Punishment (DCP). The purpose of this act was to establish an agency to assume the responsibilities of management of all community punishment facilities and services, execute the orders of the criminal courts of the State of Arkansas and provide for the supervision, treatment, rehabilitation and restoration of adult offenders as useful law-abiding citizens within the community.
During the 83rd Session of the General Assembly, a bill was filed primarily to rename the Department of Community Punishment. The bill was signed by the Governor as Act 323 of 2001 changing the name of the agency to the Department of Community Correction (DCC) . This act also changed the Board of Correction and Community Punishment to the Board of Corrections (BOC).
In 2013, the Department of Community Correction became known as Arkansas Community Correction (ACC).
During the 2019 legislative session, the Arkansas General Assembly passed an Act to transform state government. Under Governor Asa Hutchinson’s leadership, the 42 state agencies that are part of the executive branch of government were consolidated into 15 departments and the ACC became a part of the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Effective July 1, 2019, the Arkansas Department of Corrections consists of the following entities:
The Division of Correction (formerly the Arkansas Department of Correction); The Division of Community Correction (formerly Arkansas Department of Community Correction); The Corrections School System; The Office of the Criminal Detention Facility Review Coordinator; along with the Administrative functions of the Criminal Detention Facility Review Committees; Administrative functions of the Parole Board; Administrative functions of the Arkansas Sentencing Commission; and Administrative functions of the State Council for the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision. The consolidation of administrative functions will allow each entity to focus on their same missions while the administrative services areas continue to support the front line staff carrying out our various missions.
The Department of Corrections is governed by the Board of Corrections.
- To provide appropriate and effective supervision of offenders in the community
- To provide for the confinement, care, control and treatment of offenders sentenced to or confined in community correction centers in an adequate, safe and secure environment.
- To develop and implement sanctions, programs and services needed to function within the scope of the mission.
- To improve staff recruiting, retention and training efforts.
“To enhance public safety by enforcing state laws and court mandates through community partnerships and evidence-based programs that are cost efficient and hold offenders accountable while engaging them in opportunities to become law-abiding, productive citizens.”
“We place our priority on public safety while providing opportunities for positive change.”