The end of the road for the old Craighead County jail

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 6:55 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Say goodbye to the old Craighead County jail, as the almost 100-year-old building will be torn down for a new project.

The building, which is attached to the Craighead County Courthouse, has not been used for the last 30 years, and Judge Marvin Day said they needed to expand.

“There is a need for additional courtroom space,” he said. “We tried to figure out a way to do it without taking down the jail, but it’s just feasibly we couldn’t figure out a way to do it.”

Judge Day said in the fall, he hopes to start the process of taking the jail down to build new courtrooms.

“We are envisioning a four-story building, and the top floor is just going to be shelved out, but other than that, there will be three jury-sized courtrooms that will be in that building,” he said.

Judge Day said it was important to preserve the building to make sure its legacy will live forever.

That is why crews will begin work by filming a short documentary about the jail.

“We will interview some people about the building. Officers and deputies that brought people in, and former counties employees,” Day said. “We want to just talk about the history of the building, what it was like 40, 50 years ago when it was still in use.”

History is something that lives forever, and Judge Day said he understands people might be upset, but he explained this is something they must do.

“I understand people are upset, I mean we all are,” he said. “We have to be efficient with the county’s resources and do that in the most efficient manner.”

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