Judge Tom Smith, in his judicial robes over blue shirt and red tie, leans on his bench in the courtroom.

In 2 Arkansas Counties, Jailing Youth Increasingly Used As Last Resort

In 2008, Wendy Jones’ teenage son, Corby, began getting into trouble with the law: skipping school, doing drugs, stealing. His behavior soon landed him in Benton County, Arkansas, juvenile court, followed by a stay in the local juvenile detention center, or JDC, a 36-bed, jail-like facility in Bentonville, not far from the home offices of Walmart.

Ex-Inmates Helping to Transform Prison Into Building for Women and Girls

“They can walk through the building a thousand times, but when they walk through it with somebody that had to live here, that was incarcerated here, it’s a different vibe,” Cheryl Wilkins said, adding that an advisory committee comprised of formerly incarcerated women regularly meets with NoVo Foundation representatives to plan for the building’s future.