According to a 2011 Pew study, the average sentence imposed by a judge in Arkansas is twice as long as is suggested by state sentencing guidelines. These sentencing practices result in the overcrowding of state prisons with people convicted of nonviolent offenses who do not pose a significant risk to the community and whose behavior will not benefit from extended periods of incarceration. Additionally, many counties face a shortage of public defenders due to lack of state funding. The public defenders that are available are drastically overworked and are thus often unable to adequately represent their clients. Significant reforms are necessary in the trial and court systems to ensure that every person who interacts with the criminal justice system, regardless of income or race, receives fair and equal treatment.