GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - Jails keep suspected criminals off the streets so we can be safe. But just how secure are the jails?
Criminal Detention Facilitators inspect Arkansas jails every year to make sure they comply with state standards. Garland County Jail passed inspection, but did come up short in four areas.
"This is the same report we've been receiving for years, this is the way we've been operating for years." Every year, inspectors review Arkansas jails to make sure they are following state standards. Garland County Detention center passed, but not with flying colors. They lacked in four areas but Sheriff Larry Sanders says the report is no surprise. "The areas we were cited in is not unusual, this jail was built for 88 inmates we house on average 200 in an area designed for 88 you would expect the kitchen to be too small and storage to be too small."
Space isn't the only area they struggle in, they also lack in staff, but Sanders says a new jail is in the works and with it will come more employees. "We will be hiring more staff with the dedicated tax for jail operations we will finally have the money to hire."
Randy Rankin coordinates the inspections and says Garland County is not alone, many jails struggle. "The committee is going to work with Garland County as long as they can as long as they are striving to make things better in the jail and meet standards."
Voters approved a 42 million dollar bond last year to build a new jail, Sanders says that's the first step in fixing the problems. "These are things we have been telling the public and these are reasons the tax was passed because we are under staffed and overcrowded and don't have enough room." They plan to break ground on the new detention facility in
September and hope to be in there by fall of 2014.