Changes possibly to come for Craighead Co. Detention Center - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Changes possibly to come for Craighead Co. Detention Center

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "We need this, want this, but the issue is can we afford it," said Craighead County Sheriff, Jack McCann.

McCann is talking about the possibility of adding courtrooms onto the detention center.

"We first started looking at this in 2001," said McCann.

McCann adds they haven't been able to do much more than just talk  because the cash flow to fund it wasn't there.

"Every year or two it comes up," said McCann.

McCann says  city and county leaders are again revisiting the issue, and trying to find ways to fund such a project.

"17,000 square feet in 2001 was 1.6 million, now it's 2.6," said McCann.

He says they're looking at the possibility of adding 2 district courtrooms, and a circuit courtroom, and using one as a training room.  The biggest reason for wanting the addition McCann says is for safety--for example with courtrooms here, they wouldn't be transporting those in custody.

"If it happened, it would just be added on to booking.   They would never leave this facility and we would have a secure holding area for the inmates once they get into the courtroom," said McCann.

"We're going to have to look past today and into the future," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.

Perrin says that includes city and county leaders working together to determine how big it needs to be and what security measures need to be in place.

"Once we figure out the utilization we'll put a price tag on it.   Once the price tag is put on there, then it's going to get real serious," said Perrin.

Perrin and McCann add it's too soon to say what exactly, if any, additions will be made or how it will be paid for.  McCann and Perrin say discussions will continue.

"It will be a major project if it happens," said McCann. 

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