Craighead County Jail Cuts Back by Using Contract Company

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Inside the Craighead County Sheriff's Department and Detention Center the doors are closing on a reality that's nationwide.

"Times are getting tougher for everyone, and when we are spending taxpayers dollars, it pays to be wise and make sure you are getting the most you can for every dollar," said Sheriff Jack McCann.

For that reason he and his jail administration are streamlining the way they handle food services for inmates.

"Depending on the numbers, we can save in the neighborhood of 100-thousand dollars a year," said McCann.

To do this they are joining forces with Jonesboro based Tiger Commissary Services, a group that already works with the jail.

"This is someone we know, someone we are very familiar with, someone we feel comfortable with," said McCann.

Through contract Tiger Commissary Services will be able to get food and personell cheaper for the county, while maintaining the state's jail standards.

In 2007 it cost Craighead County about 513,000 dollars to feed about 300 inmates. If you break that down, it averages about $1.56 per inmate per meal.

The new contract will bring that cost down to around $1.23 or $1.25 per meal depending on the total number of inmates.

But it also frees up personell within the county jail that can be better utilized in other areas.

"Having a private contractor in, we free up two more slots of employees that can work in other area of the jail, as far as security, which is our number one concern always," said Jail Administrator Aaron Davis.

He says having already worked with tiger services, he feels comfortable that the company can do the job, and be relied on.

"That benefits us with them being local, because if we have a problem, they are there for us," said Davis.

It is expected that Tiger Commissary Services will take over the jail's kitchen sometime later this summer.

Sheriff McCann also tells us that the garden grown at the county jail will stay, and items grown in it have been worked into the contract with Tiger Commissary Services.

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