LITTLE ROCK (AP) — The director of the Arkansas Department of Correction has told a legislative subcommittee that changes are needed in state laws to allow nonviolent and low-level violent convicts to be put on probation.

DOC director Ray Hobbs said Tuesday that the state prison system has nearly 2,000 more inmates than it can hold — with the overflow being held in county jails at a cost of $28 per inmate per day.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Hobbs said he will recommend more emphasis be placed on probation and parole and on drug court programs that send offenders with a dependence on illegal drugs or alcohol into a treatment program instead of to prison.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com