ouachita river unit

Exploring Ouachita River Unit: Arkansas’ Inmate Classification Hub

When it comes to the Arkansas correctional system, the Ouachita River Unit stands as a crucial intake and classification facility. Located in the serene town of Malvern, this facility plays a pivotal role in the state’s penal system. In this article, we’ll delve into the inner workings of the Ouachita River Unit, shedding light on its purpose, services, and significance.

Understanding the Basics

A Hub for Classification

The Ouachita River Unit serves as the gateway for almost all inmates entering the Arkansas prison system. Inmates typically spend only a few days to a few weeks here, primarily for classification purposes. After their brief stay, they are transferred to more permanent facilities across the state. This unique function results in an eclectic mix of inmates, ranging from those with minimum to medium custody levels.

Visitation Challenges

One noteworthy aspect of the Ouachita River Unit is that visitation can be a challenging prospect. Due to the short duration of inmates’ stay, it’s often not possible for families and friends to visit during this phase. However, for long-term inmates, visitation is feasible, but specific days and times must be coordinated with the facility.

See also  North Central Unit

Capacity and Location

The Ouachita River Unit boasts the ability to house approximately 1760 inmates, making it a substantial part of the Arkansas correctional system. Its location in Malvern, Arkansas, provides a tranquil setting despite its critical role in the state’s criminal justice operations.

Services Offered

Rehabilitation and Education

In an effort to prepare inmates for their eventual reintegration into society, the Ouachita River Unit offers a range of services. These include substance abuse education, programs aimed at reducing sexual victimization for sex offenders, and specialized programs for inmates with special needs. Educational opportunities abound, with inmates having the chance to earn their GED and receive basic adult education.

Work Programs

One unique aspect of the Ouachita River Unit is its commitment to providing inmates with opportunities for skill development. Inmates can participate in a variety of work programs, including laundry processing and construction. Additionally, the facility operates the Paws program, allowing inmates to work with animals, fostering a sense of responsibility and connection.

Contact Information

For those seeking to reach out to the Ouachita River Unit, here are some essential details:

  • Physical Address: Ouachita River Correctional Unit 100 Walco Lane Malvern, AR 72104
  • Telephone: (501) 467-3400
  • Inmate Mailing Address: Inmate Name, ID Number Ouachita River Correctional Unit P.O. Box 1630 Malvern, AR 72104


The Ouachita River Unit plays a vital role in the Arkansas correctional system, serving as the entry point for many inmates and offering crucial rehabilitation and educational services. While visitation may be limited during an inmate’s short stay, the facility’s commitment to preparing them for a successful reentry into society is commendable.

See also  McPherson Unit

If you’re interested in learning more about the Ouachita River Unit or its programs, feel free to reach out to the facility. Understanding the role of such institutions is essential for a comprehensive view of the criminal justice system.


1. Can I visit an inmate at the Ouachita River Unit during their short stay?

Visitation during an inmate’s brief stay at the Ouachita River Unit is usually not possible. However, for long-term inmates, visitation can be arranged, but you’ll need to coordinate with the facility for specific days and times.

2. What services are offered to inmates at the Ouachita River Unit?

The Ouachita River Unit provides various services, including substance abuse education, programs to reduce sexual victimization for sex offenders, specialized programs for inmates with special needs.

3. How long do inmates typically stay at the Ouachita River Unit?

Inmates at the Ouachita River Unit usually have short stays, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. This period is primarily for classification before they are transferred to more permanent facilities within the Arkansas prison system.

4. Are there educational opportunities for inmates at the Ouachita River Unit?

Yes, the Ouachita River Unit offers educational opportunities for inmates. They can work towards earning a GED and receive basic adult education, helping them acquire valuable skills for their future.

5. What is the Paws program at the Ouachita River Unit?

The Paws program at the Ouachita River Unit allows inmates to work with animals. It is designed to provide inmates with a sense of responsibility and the opportunity to develop a connection with animals as part of their rehabilitation and skill development.

See also  J. Aaron Hawkins Sr. Center

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