Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a pink dress signing a document at her desk

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has a New Year’s Resolution: put more of her constituents in jail!

The Arkansas governor is going to war with state’s Board of Corrections over her desire to add 622 beds in state prisons. The board only approved 130 beds, citing concerns over safety and staffing.

But Sanders doesn’t give AF.

Her administration announced plans to go ahead with the prison expansion, anyway, usurping the Board of Corrections’ authority.

That’s when the legal battles started.

Last month, the Board of Corrections suspended Corrections Secretary Joe Profiri, who was appointed by Sanders. Among the board’s grievances were Profiri’s lack of urgency in dealing with prison overcrowding.

The state’s prisons are currently holding 16,440 inmates, despite a capacity of 15,022, the Associated Press reports.

Sadly, that number is only expected to increase.

The Protect Arkansas Act, which went into effect January 1, lessens and sometimes eliminates parole eligibility for many felonies, likely leading to a larger inmate population.

Shortly following Profiri’s suspension, the Board of Corrections sued Arkansas over newly enacted laws that takes away oversight of the secretary. The two edicts transfer certain powers from the board to Profiri, and also place him directly under the governor’s authority.

A county judge ruled in favor of the board last week, and its members didn’t take long to reassert their authority. They fired Profiri Wednesday with a 5-2 vote.

In the interim, Sanders say Profiri will serve as a senior advisor in her office. Attorney General Tim Griffin is currently suing all seven members of the board as well.

While the details may be a bit dizzying, here’s the bottom line: Sanders is fighting her state’s Board of Corrections for not being draconian enough when it comes to throwing people in jail.

That must be a first!

Since taking office last year, Sanders keeps upping the ante on cruelty. Right before the holiday season, she denied clemency to a man who’s spent 32 years in state prison for a murder he almost certainly didn’t commit.

Arkansas has the fifth-highest incarceration rate in the country–a per capita rate of 942 per 100,000 people–which is greater than every democracy in the world, including the U.S.

But Sanders isn’t settling for fifth. She wants to aim higher! How else could one interpret the state’s decision last year to throw a college student in jail for 10 days for simply chanting “Trans lives matter”?

Unsurprisingly, Sanders isn’t the only Arkansas Republican who wants to torture inmates. Senator Tim Cotton once introduced a bill that would require the federal Bureau of Prisons to house inmates according to their assigned sex at birth, not their gender identity.

The bill in question went nowhere, like many of Sanders’ publicity stunts. The political nepo baby kicked off the new year last week with a politically charged letter addressed to the Department of Defense. In it, Sanders claims an Arkansas Air National Guard Commander resigned due to the Pentagon’s policy on abortion.

Like many of her pandering acts, the letter blew up in her face.

There are, of course, many real issues for Sanders to work on. Arkansas, despite its overcrowded prisons, still ranks 47th in crime.

That inflated number would lead one to believe that maybe Arkansas should try a different approach when it comes to combating criminality. But Sanders is doubling down.

The state also ranks 43rd in education and 47th in health, as this SHS imitator reminds us:

What a long year it’s been. And if Sanders’ recent actions are any indication, the cruelty is only going to get worse.

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated