Only Arkansas permits criminal consequences for nonpayment of rent — and it has enforced the law during the pandemic. Now, after ProPublica and ANNN investigated the practice, some legislators want to revoke the statute.
The George's Inc. workers told Facing South that the walkout was prompted by management's recent decision to end staggered shifts, which forces workers entering the plant into narrow hallways with workers who are leaving.
Hot Springs prosecutor Josh Drake called the state’s criminal eviction statute “cruel” and “unconstitutional.” Criminal charges against tenants falling behind on rent have continued, even as the pandemic has worsened.
Large poultry processors like Tyson have come under public fire for failing to protect their workers from COVID-19. But smaller poultry companies have had the same problems — and much less scrutiny.
More than 87,000 Arkansans with felony convictions are barred from registering to vote, according to a recent report from The Sentencing Project. Most of those people are not currently incarcerated.
Evictions in Arkansas can snowball from criminal charges to arrests to jail time because of a 119-year-old law that mostly impacts female, Black and low-income renters. Even prosecutors have called it unconstitutional.
Fraud prevention efforts by the Division of Workforce Services have slowed the flow of aid to jobless Arkansans.
Arkansas poultry plants see 64 COVID-19 cases and at least one death.