Work group discusses ways to reduce Washington County Jail overcrowding

KNWA

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A public meeting was held at the Washington County Jail on Friday with the purpose of finding ways to reduce overcrowding. The work group consisted of mayors, judges, law enforcement members, attorneys and community activists.

County justices announced there’d be budgeted money allocated to new staff at the public defenders’ and prosecutors’ offices. They hope this will limit the number of pre-trial detainees in the short term.

Sarah Moore is a criminal justice reform activist, and she said sitting around discussing ideas with people who have different county perspectives will bring about needed relief.

“I am very optimistic that they’re gonna be able to bring things to us that are immediately actionable,” Moore said. “[Solutions] that are not gonna take a year, two years down the road.”

These work group meetings happen once a month, Moore said. Members are breaking out into three subcommittees that will focus on tasks like pre-trial population, jail operations and court processes.

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