Little River inmates to stay in county after jail renovation - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Little River inmates to stay in county after jail renovation

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County authorities toured the renovated jail facilities before approving its reopening. County authorities toured the renovated jail facilities before approving its reopening.
The facility is heavily monitored. The facility is heavily monitored.
LITTLE RIVER CO., AR (KSLA) -

The day will soon end for transporting inmates to other counties for housing, and Little River County, Arkansas authorities are happy about the news.

Members of the Arkansas Jail Commission and county leaders inspected the newly renovated facility to give their stamp of approval.

"This jail will pass as soon as I sent them a letter," say Danny Hickman, Arkansas Jail Commission.

The inmate transfer began after Little River County voters rejected in 2010 a sales tax increase to build a new county jail.

The jail also was renovated after an attempted escaped in May 2011 highlighted the security risk posed by having to transport inmates.

The renovated jail passed inspection and should once again begin housing inmates.

Sheriff Gary Gregory says: "It will be an opportunity for us to be able to furnish a good, healthy environment for persons who have violated the law for the citizens can come and visit their family without having to travel far off."

In the past three years, the county has spent nearly $500,000 annually to house inmates in other jails. With the reopening of this facility, it should save taxpayers money.

"It made things extremely tight financially by being able to move the inmates back. We hope our financial situation improves drastically pretty quick," says Little River County Judge Clayton Castleman.

The jail's opening will also provide additional jobs for the county, Castleman says.

"We are going to be able to employ 7 additional people. We have created 7 different jobs."

The $1.3 million renovation project was partly funded with a $600,000 loan from a local bank. Castleman said that loan should be paid back in five years.

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