Inmate transition facility in Cotter closes after city revokes permit

Twin Lakes Recovery Center of North Arkansas in Cotter
Twin Lakes Recovery Center of North Arkansas in Cotter (Mike Coonrod, KY3 News)
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COTTER, Ark. (KY3) - A private facility housing former prison inmates is closed after the City of Cotter revoked its occupation permit. The Arkansas Department of Community Correction removed the 10 residents of Twin Lakes Recovery of North Arkansas last Friday night after the city said they had to be out by Monday at 5 p.m.

Dina Tyler, deputy director for communications and public affairs for the department, said the 10 residents were moved to other facilities that have contracts with the state. She said it would be up to the owner of Twin Lakes Recovery to get a new permit from Cotter or to find a building that it could use and get permitted in another town.

The facility housed inmates in a six-month program of community re-integration. The program prepares them to be released on parole. The inmates had to have full-time jobs, participate in drug and alcohol counseling programs, and work to obtain a high school-equivalency degree if they didn’t finish high school. They wore GPS ankle collars and could not leave the facility except to go to work. The Twin Lakes Recovery building had no fence.

The City of Cotter said the owner didn’t apply for an occupation permit until May even though it opened in April. The city attorney also said the Secretary of State’s Office had revoked Twin Lakes Recovery’s corporate charter, and that all residents who live within 1,000 feet of the facility were not properly notified by mail before a public hearing was held on an occupation permit.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery joined city officials in opposing the facility. He said the residents of the home were a danger to the community.