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Detention center closed due to lack of workers

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 9:54 PM CDT
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CLAY COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - The Clay County Detention Center has been struggling for the last six months - being held up by a skeleton crew.

“But now it’s gotten to the point that we have to temporarily house our detainees in other facilities,” Sheriff Terry Miller said.

Two weeks ago, the facility was shut down, and inmates were sent to detention centers in neighboring counties.

Sheriff Miller says the main issue is a lack of workers.

“People finding jobs, better jobs at other locations, other detention centers,” Miller said. “And other jobs out in the community that pay better than what the detention center does.”

Efforts have been taken to draw workers back into the center, with the quorum court approving more funding toward pay for workers, even raising base pay around 2 to 3 dollars an hour.

“Now what we have to do is get some people trained, hired and trained to be able to do the job and then we will be able to work on getting the facility to be back up and going.” Miller said.

Miller says no one has been hired just yet and doesn’t have a timetable for reopening the facility.

But he and what workers remain are doing what they can to start serving their community once again.

“It’s a lot of work having to transport from one facility, into court, take them back and everything,” Miller said. “It’s a lot but the team’s pulling together and doing a good job, a lot of people are working hard to get this settled.”

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