The first of its kind, the 390,000 square foot Special Needs Unit addresses several critical needs for the Arkansas Department of Correction. It streamlines the intake and diagnostic process, centralizes specialized facilities and highly trained staff for greater efficiency, and improves health care for inmates. Construction of this unit directly affects inmates with mental illness; inmates of physical disability, advanced age or terminal illness; inmates requiring hospital-level care and all inmates upon reception.
The SNU offers several operational benefits to the Department of Correction. Those include improved access for agencies transporting inmates to the Department of Correction; maximum utilization of security and medical staff; improved treatment resources for special populations; separation of inmates requiring specialized treatment due to mental or physical illness or advanced age; proximity to major medical facilities and lower liability since the SNU enhances the ability to meet constitutional mandates and ADA requirements.
Phase I – 112 beds
Phase II – 448 beds
Phase III – 294 beds
The Unit was completed in 2010.