Ark. DOC explains how murderer becomes trustee

Nearly three dozen inmates convicted of first degree murder are trustees in the state


By C1 Staff

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Following the escape of inmate Timothy Buffington, the Arkansas Department of Corrections has found themselves under fire to explain why a convicted murderer was allowed to be on the prison’s trustee program.

Arkansas Matters reports that nearly three dozen inmates convicted of first degree murder are trustees in the state.

Buffington was convicted of first degree murder for shooting his ex-wife to death in 1999.

According to the DOC, inmates can become trustees following a general set of criteria: good behavior, good work ethic, and recommendations from supervisors, among others.

The severity of some crimes automatically disqualify inmates from becoming trustees, such as sex offenders and capital murderers. First degree murder convictions disqualify inmates from work release programs that allow them to leave the prison and hold a job in the community.

Buffington was still on prison grounds and officials say he was checked on regularly by officers.

Authorities are still seeking Buffington after his escape last week.

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