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Clay County Jail temporarily closed as officials look to address issues

The Clay County Jail in Piggott is temporarily closed as county officials start the process of...
The Clay County Jail in Piggott is temporarily closed as county officials start the process of finding ways to make repairs to the facility.(Source: KAIT-TV)
Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 12:56 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2021 at 3:33 PM CDT
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PIGGOTT, Ark. (KAIT) - Clay County officials met Saturday to discuss issues with the county’s jail, which was temporarily closed until repairs could be made to the facility.

Nearly 30 people heard from the county officials during a special quorum court meeting at the courthouse in Piggott, officials said.

Both Clay County Judge Mike Patterson and Sheriff Terry Miller said the meeting was productive and gave people an opportunity to learn more about the issue.

Miller said earlier Saturday that he sent the county’s 10 inmates to facilities in Greene and Randolph counties after temporarily closing the jail.

The temporary closure was due to safety concerns and the county having trouble finding employees to work at the jail, Miller said. The sheriff said the state fire marshal recently did an inspection and found issues with the facility’s fire suppression system.

Patterson said the main goal was getting the jail repaired and he did not anticipate the jail being temporarily closed for long, possibly a week or two. The county judge also said he does not want to shut down the jail and wants the jail to operate at full force.

Miller agreed and said the consensus at the meeting was to get the jail back up and running, plus fixing the problems found by the fire marshal.

The next step will involve talking with contractors as early as next week to fix the situation, but Miller cautioned that the situation could not be solved overnight.

As for the employee situation, justices voted to allow Miller to pay up to $14 an hour, as qualifications are met, for people who want to work as jailers.

Justices are expected to discuss the issue further at their Oct. 18 meeting in Corning.

Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.

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