Lawrence County jail officially in transition stage

Lawrence County jail officially in transition stage

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Lawrence County jail is officially in the transition stage.

The new jail design has all the amenities a modern jail must have including a laundry area, kitchen, booking room and the sheriff's department which is adjacent to the jail.

A review session for the formal plans of the 100-bed jail will be held next week.

Not only will the jail be brand new, it will also have new technology to improve jail functions.

"There is new technology in terms of camera systems and in terms of security electronics, like electronic doors and speakers on every main entrance," said Jim Langford, an architect with SouthBuild TEAM.

Langford said the cameras and design will also help the jail guards do their job more efficiently.

"Part of it is designed to maximize the line of sight in the main inmate areas as opposed to the old time jails where you basically had to walk up and down the hallways to be able to see what is going on," Langford said.

The construction plans should be complete in May and then bidding will open in July.

Langford said depending on weather, he hopes to have the project complete in the winter of 2017 or the beginning of 2018.

Director of Jail Standards Sterling Penix thanks Lawrence County officials and the people for passing the sales tax to build the jail.

He said a new jail will promote safety, reduce risk and keep the county in compliance with jail standards.

Langford also said this project will save the county money overall.

"The ability to maintain a facility that meets standards and houses the constitutionally required detainees for the county helps keep the money in the county," Langford said.

Penix said the jail standards review committee will assist the county and sheriff's department during this transitional stage.

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