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Solutions Coming for Jail Overcrowding Problem in Washington County

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. - Plans are in motion to help alleviate the capacity problem at the Washington County Jail.   

Right now the Washington County Detention Center holds 666 inmates. It's an unlucky number for an unlucky situation. We got a private tour to see just how overcrowded the jail is.  

Behind several locked doors, it's an issue that isn't going away.

The only option for more beds at the moment -  mattresses on the floor. 

Justice of the Peace Fred Rausch says the problem right now is trying to find the funds. 

"It may be a millage," Rausch said. "It may be a sales tax. Could be either but it's too early to tell at this moment." 

The Washington County Quorum Court is working with an architect to possibly expand the 15 year old jail. 

Other solutions could include ankle monitoring criminals outside of the detention center and a faster processing system. 

"It stems from the growth that we have had in the county, and the cities here do not have their own jail facilities," Rausch said. 

Even though the plans are in the preliminary stages, it's an issue that's catching the attention of more than just the county. 

"It's getting to the point where the state keeps telling us we have an overcrowding issue and it could become more of a state issue than a county issue," Rausch said. 
 


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