Randolph County quorum court addresses overcrowding, talks solut - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Randolph County quorum court addresses overcrowding, talks solutions

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POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The Randolph County Jail is packed out and over budget when it comes to housing some inmates. Now, county leaders are beginning talks to ease the issue.

"I'm gonna compliment law enforcement...we're doing a good job," Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble told the quorum court Thursday. "We're doing what we're supposed to do."

But with just 34 beds, numerous arrests have led to overcrowding.  

The Randolph County Jail is nearly always over capacity. On Thursday, there were 40 inmates held at the county jail, a modest number compared to some days. Sheriff Tribble told Region 8 News the jail recently housed 60 male inmates. 

As the county only houses men, the dollars are adding up to house women inmates elsewhere.

"It's like I've mentioned before, the only thing that's affected us is excessive out of county inmates," Tribble said. "That's the one line that we're falling short on."

Tribble said roughly $52,000 was budgeted for 2014 to send women and juvenile inmates out of county. However, just 7 months into the year, they're already over that budget.

Now, with the issue staring the county in the face, county leaders agree something needs to be done. 

"This is not gonna get done in a month or two," County Judge David Jansen said. "It's gonna cost some money, guys."

Justices of the Peace did vote to begin looking into possible solutions. One of those solutions would be expanding the jail. County Judge Jansen said the jail was built to be added on to.

Another option on the table would be to begin housing women inmates. Thursday, 8 females were being housed out of county from Randolph County. Sheriff Tribble said that is a low number compared to most days.

Sheriff Tribble said that right now, the Randolph County Jail is one of only six in the state that do not house women.

The quorum court is set to meet again next month.

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