OMEGA Frequently Asked Questions >
1. What is a DCC Center?
The DCC operates Community Correction Centers in five locations – Little Rock, Texarkana, Osceola, Pine Bluff and Fayetteville. The Centers in Pine Bluff and Fayetteville are for women and the other three are for men.
Centers are similar to a jail or a prison in that they are secured facilities, but differ legally in purpose. Adults facing a non-violent felony charge can be placed in a DCC Center as part of a criminal sentence for a period of up to two years.
DCC Centers are focused on rehabilitation through a Modified Therapeutic Community (MTC) featuring programs and services that are designed to allow an offender to reintegrate into the community with a goal of maintaining a crime free lifestyle.
The community consists of residents and staff. To achieve program goals, a community structure is used. The community structure consists of a variety of functional departments with an assortment of jobs and positions.
The community establishes values, norms, traditions and rules by which the residents live. As residents advance through treatment phases, they are assigned appropriate therapeutic jobs and progress through positions that will help them develop skills useful in resolving personal problems and making life-style changes.
Throughout the process, emphasis is placed on discovering and resolving personal problems and being responsible and accountable for ones’ behaviors.
While in a Center, these offenders are referred to as Residents.
2. How is that different from prison or a jail?
The purpose of a jail is to house offenders awaiting a court appearance on a felony or misdemeanor charge or other activity in a criminal court. Jails will house offenders sentenced for up to one year from a District Court or offenders convicted of Class A Misdemeanors from a Circuit Court. Prison is for the incarceration of offenders facing a long-term commitment or for offenders convicted of a violent felony.
3. What happens to someone sent to a Center?
All Residents are medically screened and then placed in general population. During the first 30 days a Resident will attend an orientation class where they will learn about the Center and receive instruction about the Therapeutic Community Program. After orientation they will receive a job within the Center and be assigned to classes based upon their need(s). They will also be given an opportunity to attend AA/NA and church services as provided by local volunteers along with adequate free time for recreational activities.
4. What can a Resident take to a Center?
Items Residents are allowed to bring with them to a Community Correction Center:
- Necessary legal papers
- One religious Text
- One 12 Step Text or similar substance abuse program text.
- One religious medal, with chain (under $50.)
- Any prescriptions, medications and physicians orders to be turned over to medical personnel upon arrival
- Prescription eye glasses, contact lenses, case and cleaner
- Hearing aid(s) and one package of batteries
- Money order or balance of county jail funder (this money will be placed on account for the resident)
- One plastic hair comb
- Address book without wire or metal
- Two pens or pencils
- One wedding ring or set (under $50 value)
- One watch (under $50)
- Personal toiletries are limited to shampoo and deodorant, alcohol free and unopened
- Unopened feminine items (pad, tampons, etc. only at female facility)
- Five pre-stamped envelopes (purchased through postal channels)
- One pair shoes (valued under $50)
- One pair shower shoes
5. What about his/her clothes?
Only one set of civilian clothing may be brought for the resident to wear upon release. No other clothing is allowed. All Clothing to be worn at the facility including undergarments is provided.
6. What about his/her jewelry and sunglasses and cigarettes and lighter?
In accordance with Agency policy, any items not on the list above are contraband
The Resident will have to dispose of the items by the following means:
- Shipping the items home at their own expense
- Have the items picked up at the Center by another party
- Donate the items to the State
- Authorize, in writing, the destruction of the property
Residents are not allowed to have any kind of tobacco. This policy became effective January 17, 2000 and prohibits residents from possessing “any smoking or smokeless tobacco product.” If a resident does have tobacco, it is considered contraband and the resident will be disciplined. Visitors and employees must leave all tobacco products in their vehicle. Bringing tobacco products into a center will result in loss of visitation privileges and criminal prosecution.
7. Can I visit someone in a DCC Center?
Yes. Each visitor is required to submit a completed Visitor’s Application to the Center’s Records Supervisor through the US Mail.
Applications are then processed, reviewed and either approved or denied by the Center Supervisors. This process can take from seven days to three weeks. A criminal history check is done on all prospective visitors.
Four visitors are allowed during any one visit, including children. However, DCC can limit the number of visitors due to space limitations.
The person incarcerated is responsible for letting the individuals know whether or not they are approved to visit. This includes all minor children.
Minors who visit must be accompanied by an adult who is approved for visitation.
8. Christmas is coming up. Can I visit on Christmas or other holiday?
Visitation on holidays is left up to each different Center. Residents will be able to tell you if you can visit during an upcoming holiday.
9. What are the rules on visitation?
- Visitors must complete an application to visit a resident in a DCC center. Note, the number of persons visiting a resident at one time may be limited.
- Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult and may be required to provide a birth certificate for age verification.
- Visitors may only visit the residents they were granted permission to visit.
- Prescription drugs may only be brought into the Center with permission of the Center Supervisor.
- Visitors must comply with DCC policies and procedures.
- Visitors shall not have in their possession or property on DCC grounds explosive devices, firearms (or other instruments which can be used as weapons), ammunition, cell phones, pagers, other communication devices, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products (including chewing tobacco and snuff), illegal substances, narcotics or objects or materials of any kind which might be used to compromise the security, and safety of the center. Any attempt to bring such contraband onto center property will result in loss of visitation privileges and criminal prosecution. Pursuant to Criminal Code Section 5-54-119, the introduction of contraband into a correctional facility amounts to either a Class B or C felony, depending on the nature of the contraband.
- Visitors must not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while visiting a resident.
- Visitors must be aware that there are risks inherent in visiting a DCC correction center.
- Visitors are subject to screening devices and may be searched. Vehicles on DCC grounds are also subject to search.
- Persons entering a DCC center must provide sufficient information for the Center Supervisor to review criminal history and background. A person may be denied access if the security, order, and discipline of the center may be compromised.
- Visitors must possess, and present on demand, adequate identification such as agency identification, drivers license or other picture I.D. and must sign in and out.
- Visitors must be appropriately dressed as follows: No miniskirts/short dresses, shorts, halter tops, see through or other provocative clothing, shoulders must be covered at all times. Note: Children under fifteen are allowed to wear shorts of a respectable length.
10. What type of identification do I need when I go to a Center to visit a Resident?
You will need a Photo ID and/or a birth certificate.
11. What are the visitation times?
Usual visitation days are Saturday and Sunday, and visitation hours vary from center to center. You will be told by your friend or family member the approved day and the times for visitation at their assigned center.
12. Can visitors be searched?
13. What about my car? Can it be searched?
14. What items can be brought in at visitation?
Items brought into the center during visitation are limited. No weapons, alcohol, drugs or tobacco products. No money may be brought in for the Resident. Money may be brought in to purchase beverages and snacks from center vending machines. No food or beverages may be brought in. Personal items, such as handbags, briefcases, diaper bags, cameras, recording devices, cell phones and pagers must remain outside the facility. You should contact the facility if you have any questions about what is allowed to be brought into the center.
15. Can visits take place outside regular visiting hours?
Generally no, but special visits may be authorized by the Center Supervisor. Visitors must be on the approved visiting list. Advance approval must be made by the Center Supervisor.
16. Are visits allowed for a Resident who is hospitalized?
Yes, if you are on a Resident’s approved visitor list. Hospital policy on visitation also will be followed.
17. Can visits be disapproved, suspended or terminated?
Yes, visiting privileges can be disapproved, suspended or terminated for various reasons upon approval of the Center Supervisor.
18. Can a Resident attend a funeral or visit a critically ill family member?
Yes, for immediate family members – but only through prior-approved Emergency Furlough application and approval by the Center Supervisor. There are circumstances that may result in the denial of permission to attend a funeral or visit a critically ill family member.
19. How do I obtain an Emergency Furlough Application?
An Emergency Furlough application can be obtain by calling the Center where the Resident is located and requesting to speak to the Chaplain. Once the Chaplain is notified, the Resident in question can request the Furlough application though the Chaplain.
20. Can this visit be out of the state?
21. Can I take a Resident food?
22. Can we touch during visitation?
Visitors are allowed a brief hug upon arrival and departure; no further contact is allowed. A small child may sit on the Resident’s lap.
23. How long do I get to visit?
It varies from Center to Center. Residents can tell family members/friends when visitation starts and how long it lasts.
24. What about money?
Money cannot be personally given to a Resident. Money can be sent in and added to a Resident’s commissary account. All funds must be sent in the form of a money order to the appropriate center to be deposited in the resident’s account.
25. How much can I add each week to a Resident’s commissary account?
There is no limit to the amount of money that can be added to a Resident’s commissary account. However, there are limits to how much he or she can spend and that is determined by how well they behave while in the Center.
26. Can I send a Resident mail?
Yes. Letters are allowed.
Address each letter:
Resident’s name and DCC number
Name of center P.O. Box or street address
City, state and zip code
27. What can be sent by mail?
All books, magazines, newspapers and catalogs must be mailed directly from the publisher, bookstore, educational institution, or recognized commercial or charitable outlet. No food or care packages may be mailed into a resident. All incoming and outgoing resident mail may be read, except for privileged correspondence with the resident’s attorney; federal, state, and local court officials; any administrator of the Department of Community Correction, Board of Correction; and the media. If properly marked as privileged, the correspondence will be opened in front of the resident and only inspected for contraband.
28. Can I send a Resident clothing?
No. Clothing is provided.
29. What about shoes?
Yes, if there is specific shoe that is medically necessary arrangements can be made to accommodate the medical need, or if the Resident needs to wear an unusual size. Otherwise, shoes are furnished by the Center or can be purchased from the commissary.
30. What about personal care items such as soap or shampoo or feminine hygiene items?
No. Those items are provided to each Resident. If a Resident prefers a different type or brand than what is provided, personal care items are sold in the commissary.
31. My grandparents/uncle/aunt/cousin is coming in from another state and they aren’t on the approved visitation list – can they visit?
All visitors must submit an application and be on the resident’s approved visitors list before being allowed to visit.
Arrangements can be made for special visits for out-of-state family members if permission is sought through the Center Supervisor several days prior to the visit.
32. Can I call a Resident?
No. If there is a family emergency, contact the Center and speak with the Center Supervisor or the Chaplin (or the duty officer if it is after hours or a holiday) to have emergency information relayed to a Resident.
33. Can my friend or family member call me?
Yes. Residents are allowed time to use the telephone. All calls are collect and may be monitored. Telephone use is a privilege which may be restricted for disciplinary purposes.
34. I don’t have a landline – only a cell phone. Can I still receive calls from a Resident?
Yes. Cell phones can be set up through GTL phone systems to receive calls. Contact GTL through www.GTL.net or by calling and setting up an account at 1-866-230-7761
35. What programs are available to Residents?
Drug and Alcohol classes, religious and non-religious classes, education, self improvement, domestic violence, parenting, transition planning, AA, NA and numerous other programs are offered by staff and volunteers.
36. Can my friend or family member receive legal assistance?
Each center has a law library and limited assistance within the center.
37. Can a Resident be transferred to a center closer to home?
A request can be made to transfer a Resident, but it is not always granted.
38. My husband/wife is sick. Is health care provided?
Medical Care is provided by contracted medical staff assigned to each center.
39. Do Residents have to pay for health care?
Yes, there is a co-pay under certain circumstances. Regardless of ability to pay, medical care will be provided and a lien on the residents trust fund account will be made for future payment.
40. How does a Resident make a health care request?
He or She completes a form requesting medical care called a sick call request. All requests are reviewed and prioritized according to urgency and medical staff schedules appointments. Emergency medical care is provided immediately.
41. How does my friend or family member get medications?
Medications are provided by medical staff.
42. What if a Resident needs to be hospitalized?
Local hospitals provide medical care and treatment when hospitalization is required.
43. Are there services available to pregnant friends or family members?
44. What if a Resident needs treatment by a specialist?
Outside specialists are available when ordered by the contracted provider.
45. What types of meals are served in the center?
Meals are composed of healthy foods and prepared using a menu which is written and approved by a registered dietitian to meet the recommended dietary allowances.
46. Are therapeutic diets available?
Yes, all therapeutic diets are prescribed by the medical care staff where the person is housed.
47. Are there special menus for holidays?
There are special meals provided on holidays.
48. What types of items can my friend or family member purchase from the commissary?
Items such as hygiene items, snack foods, soft drinks, watches, radios, tennis shoes, etc may be purchased from the center commissary. There are limits on the value of items purchased and on items purchased from the trust account.
49. Will my friend or family member get credit for good behavior while in the center?
Good behavior credit is awarded based on a structured tier class system.
50. I heard from someone who had a brother in a Center that you only have to stay in one for 270 days. Is that true?
Residents can be eligible for release to probation or parole after 270 days IF they are able to complete the MTC program and that completion is approved by either the Arkansas Parole Board or by the sentencing judge.
Release in 270 days is not automatic – it is a release that must be earned.
51. What are the procedures upon my friends or family members release from the center?
A Records check will be done to insure there are no outstanding warrants, parole documents will be prepared and approved, trust fund account check will be issued, along with other actions prior to release.