New locks increase safety at detention center - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

New locks increase safety at detention center

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) -

A project to increase security at the Independence County Detention Center in Batesville was completed this week. 

The sheriff and county judge both agree that the new maximum security locks that were installed provide a safer environment for the guards. 

"This project started actually more like three years ago when the same locks that were originally installed in the facility were being reinstalled," Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said. 

Officials later realized the locks could be tampered with behind the guards' backs. 

The county has now gone to maximum security locks, which display a green light when they are properly closed or a red light when they are open. 

An alarm also sounds with a flashing light whenever an inmate tries to press on or break the deadbolt. 

"The alarms are designed to prevent if they start trying to tamper, we will know," Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens said. "Because they will catch when a guard is looking at another inmate or dealing with another inmate and they will try to compromise the locks."

Judge Griffin said since he is responsible for maintaining the facility while the sheriff is over the jail's operation, this project took communication and teamwork, which he is proud of. 

He said their common goal is always officer safety. 

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