Online database provides transparency into inmates under consideration for parole
This week, the Arkansas Parole Board (APB), in partnership with the Information Network of Arkansas and Marquis Software Development, released an Upcoming Hearing Search that provides increased transparency into scheduled parole hearings. The searchable mobile-friendly database contains information about inmates who are being considered for parole, their upcoming hearing dates and resulting parole decisions.
“There is an obvious public interest in our parole decisions,” Arkansas Parole Board Chairman John Felts said. “As we continue to see so much of our world moving online, this Upcoming Hearing Search was a natural choice for the Parole Board. Our commitment to public safety requires transparency and this tool reflects that commitment.”
Arkansans can visit ar.gov/hearings to find inmates and view extensive details including a current photograph, name, race, ADC identification number, hearing date, number of probation revocations, number of parole revocations, current convictions, a link to the inmate’s profile page on the Arkansas Department of Correction website, and a way to receive notifications when the offender’s custody status changes. Crime victims will also find instructions for contacting the Board with information on inmates with upcoming hearings.
The database joins Executive Clemency Recommendations and Board Meeting Minutes as publicly available tools on the Parole Board’s website. The APB updates the information daily to ensure its accuracy and completeness, and removes records once the decision to grant or deny parole is made. The new searchable database also serves as a companion resource to the Online Decision Search Tool, which the APB released in early March with INA.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with the Arkansas Parole Board and help provide valuable online public services to the citizens of Arkansas,” INA General Manager Bob Sanders said. “Not only are we helping Arkansans get convenient, digital access to the public records they seek, but we’re furthering our mission of expanding the availability of government services in the state while helping the Parole Board comply with transparency mandates. It’s a triple win.”
The APB developed the Upcoming Hearing Search pursuant to Section 11 of Act 1265, which requires the board to provide parole hearing and inmate information on its website. The development of the project was made possible through a grant from the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District and design assistance from Arkansas Community Correction.