Greene County could host more prisoners if Lawrence County's jail is shut down

Aug 29, 2014

If the Lawrence County jail is forced to shut down next month, one option the county would have is to ship their inmates to other counties, and reimburse those counties for the use of the facilities; however, that may be easier said than done.   Space is very limited at other county jails, according to a report from the Sun newspaper.  Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd has closed his county’s jail to misdemeanor inmates, citing a backlog of inmates that are waiting to be transferred to an Arkansas Department of Correction facility.  Boyd says the only people they are accepting are those who have been arrested for violent misdemeanors, driving while intoxicated, and felonies.  A similar situation has happened in Greene County, which lead to the county building a new jail that opened in mid-August.  The new facility is currently housing 244 inmates, and can hold up to 418 inmates.  Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston says they could help Lawrence County, if needed.  One major consideration to shipping inmates to neighboring counties is the cost.  The report states that it costs about $43 a day to house inmates.  While the county is paid that amount, the Sun says the state only pays about $28 a day for inmates after they are sentenced for 30 days.  Lawrence County Judge Dale Freeman says the county will have to build a new jail or deliver their prisoners to other counties.  A special Quorum Court meeting on the issue has been called for September 4th.