Female Inmates Have Craighead County Jail Overcrowded

JULY 21, 2006 - Posted at 11:10 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - The Craighead County jail is becoming overcrowded, because of too many female inmates.

The jail, in Jonesboro, has the capacity to hold 24 female inmates.  But Sheriff Jack McCann said yesterday that the jail had 56 female inmates.

Seven of the female inmates are awaiting a bed at a state prison.

In comparison, the Craighead County jail has room for 250 male inmates, and yesterday there were 196.

McCann said that the jail has been turning away females with misdemeanor charges because of space limitations.

The sheriff also said that the jail has become a "dumping ground for mental patients."  They've houses as many as six or eight at a time, and McCann says they're not equipped to deal with that.

The sheriff hopes for a $1 million expansion to ease the overcrowding.  He plans on asking the Craighead County Quorum Court for its approval.

K8 News will have a full report on the jail situation tonight at ten on Nightbeat.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)