Sheriff creating policy to address inmates with mental health is - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Sheriff creating policy to address inmates with mental health issues

(Source: Police Chief Chris Kirksey) (Source: Police Chief Chris Kirksey)
WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) -

UPDATE: Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Yates said the sign has been taken down. 

He explained the reason the sign was put up was because he and his chief deputy were out of town and did not have a policy in place. 

They are now back and Yates said they can deal with any issues that may arise. 

Yates said he is currently working on a new policy that will address this issue.


While the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office reviews a new policy to deal with inmates with mental health issues, one Region 8 police department questions the timing.

According to Chief Deputy Tony Waldrupe, the sheriff’s office has taken the brunt of the cost when a police officer within the county arrests a person who needs a mental health screening.

Waldrupe told Region 8 News that every time an officer arrests a person, then the county has to pay for mental health screenings that may take place.

To prevent the problem, the county placed a sign on the door at the jail’s sally port door, where inmates are brought into the jail.

The sign said the door must be locked at all times for security reasons, and Walnut Ridge police officers are not allowed to bring in the inmates unless they receive approval from the county.

Walnut Ridge Police Chief Chris Kirksey added that he worries about the safety of his officers and the people they take into custody. He said recently a Walnut Ridge officer brought in a prisoner and had to wait until a supervisor could be contacted.

Kirksey said if he cannot take his officers to the jail in Lawrence County, then he will take them to a different county. “There is no feud going on here,” Waldrupe said of the relationship with the Walnut Ridge Police Department.

Waldrupe said the sign was placed on the sally port door until the sheriff’s office could determine an official policy regarding the cost of inmate care and mental health.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Polling location changed for runoff election

    Polling location changed for runoff election

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:53 AM EDT2018-06-19 11:53:46 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 8:08 AM EDT2018-06-19 12:08:23 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    Greene County Clerk Phyllis Rhynes states on Facebook that one polling location has changed.

    Greene County Clerk Phyllis Rhynes states on Facebook that one polling location has changed.

  • Man pleads guilty in robbery, kidnapping, and murder of Loretta Pixler

    Man pleads guilty in robbery, kidnapping, and murder of Loretta Pixler

    Monday, June 18 2018 5:39 PM EDT2018-06-18 21:39:32 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:07 AM EDT2018-06-19 11:07:40 GMT
    Dewaun Logan (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department)Dewaun Logan (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department)

    One of the men accused of the kidnapping and murder of Loretta Pixler pleaded guilty Monday.

    One of the men accused of the kidnapping and murder of Loretta Pixler pleaded guilty Monday.

  • Salvation Army opening cooling center

    Salvation Army opening cooling center

    Monday, June 18 2018 10:25 PM EDT2018-06-19 02:25:10 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 10:58 PM EDT2018-06-19 02:58:36 GMT
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)
    (Source: KAIT)(Source: KAIT)

    With hot, muggy temperatures making their presence felt across Jonesboro, one building announced they've opened up their cooling center.

    With hot, muggy temperatures making their presence felt across Jonesboro, one building announced they've opened up their cooling center.

Powered by Frankly