LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Pulaski County law enforcement officials said a new $5 million annex will help with overcrowding.
"There's a need for additional bed space in the Pulaski County Jail," said Sheriff Doc Holladay of Pulaski County.
Sheriff Holladay said the jail requested $242,000 to pay for staffing for the first of a three stage building project.
"We went to Quorum Court last night asking for approval to hire 13 additional deputies and one lieutenant," said Sheriff Holladay.
In addition to inmate living quarters, the annex contains offices, a classroom and an outdoor yard.
Sheriff Holladay said a 2007 study completed by UALR concludes the jail should house 1500 to 1600 inmates.
The sheriff said the capacity now sits at 1130.
"Prior to the 1130 capacity we had to operate what's called a close facility," said Sheriff Holladay.
He said a closed facility indicates violent offenders and as many non-violent offenders as the facility will hold are housed. Sheriff Holladay said due to budget cuts from 2005 to 2010 the jail's capacity dropped to less than 900. He said even at the current capacity some non-violent offenders are turned away or released.
"Citizens expect that person to be incarcerated. When a local agency is not able hold an individual who's charged with a crime that frees the individual to continue whatever commission of crimes he's responsible for," said Sheriff Holladay.