In the last several weeks, Logan County Jail officials have been able to transfer several "hard to manage" inmates to the Arkansas Department of Correction.
As a results, things have been calm at the facility in Paris, according to Logan County Chief Deputy Sheriff and Jail Administrator David Spicer.
"We’ve had several fights and disturbances," Spicer said. "Since these inmates have been gone, we haven’t had a single report of property damage in the jail or fights in the jail."
Spicer said the last batch of troublesome inmates, six of them, were sent to ADC a month ago.
The jail administrator also said Monday that he’s trying to keep the population of the jail as close to 30 as possible and that some inmates charged with non-violent offenses have been processed, given a court date and sent home if they can’t post bail. Spicer said that’s being done to alleviate overcrowding.
"Our maximum capacity is 34 inmates," Spicer said. "If someone needs to go to jail, they go to jail. But if we’re over 30 prisoners, you have to think about alternatives. If someone comes in on a hot check warrant, we’ll probably process them, give them a court date and release them. If someone comes in on a crime of violence, we’re gong to do our best to make space if they can’t bond.
"Incidents in jail are a by-product of our overcrowding," Spicer said. "
Overcrowding was one of the issues mentioned in an October letter sent to Logan County officials from the coordinator for the state’s Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee. In the letter the coordinator said the county jail doesn’t meet minimum Arkansas jail standards and if the problems are not addressed within one year, the committee may be forced to put the facility on probation or petition the Attorney General to close the jail.
Since then, county officials have explored solutions including building a new jail or partnering with Franklin County and building a facility for both counties.