Arkansas detention centers in need of lock system upgrades - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas detention centers in need of lock system upgrades

(Source: AP Graphics Bank) (Source: AP Graphics Bank)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Dozens of Arkansas juvenile facilities, including detention centers, with antiquated locking systems that can't be opened remotely are posing safety concerns.
    
Lawyer Sharon Cowell says that among those facilities the locks at Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center in Alexander are the "most difficult to maneuver."
    
Cowell tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the facility has nearly 170 manual locks that are secured by a heavy bolt and latch.
    
Cowell says that in an emergency such as a fire "minutes would be lost" opening cells one by one.
    
Last year, lawmakers vowed to acquire the $1 million needed to replace the facility's locks, but no funds were set aside during the 2017 legislative session.
    
The Department of Finance and Administration says there are more than $1 billion in capital project requests, but only $20 to $35 million is available.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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