Quorum Court Votes to Expand Craighead County Detention Center

May 29, 2007 - Posted at 9:25 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Tuesday night at the Craighead County Quorum Court justices voted unanimously to fund renovations and expansions at the Craighead County Detention Center.

An expansion of the booking area is in the works and it could create better access for holding and suicide cells....something the facility doesn't have now.

"With the new booking area, we'll be able to have a more secure booking area.  We'll be able to observe a number of inmates that we are not able to observe at this point. And of course it will make for a much better facility," said Jail Administrator Joe Laurenzie.

$950,000 dollars of the project will be funded from a Capital Account fund and $100,000 from the Jail Trust.  The expansion should total around $1.35 million dollars.

"The new booking area will vastly be able to improve our ability to process and make sure that everything is going to go properly during the process for the inmates," said Laurenzie.

The jail holds 320 adult inmates and 64 juveniles at full capacity.  The expansion project would free up more space, allowing for the booking area to have direct access to six holding cells and two suicide cells.

"This will just vastly improve the detention center to be able to perform the duties that we are required to perform," said Laurenzie.

The expansion project will not require hiring any new personnel and the project should be completed within six to eight months after bids come in.