MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, Ark. – – Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook says a plan to close their juvenile detention center is expected to be approved by the quorum court next week.
He says juveniles will now go to surrounding juvenile jails like the one in Crittenden County.
“The quorum court has looked at it extensively and the chairman of the police, fire committee has looked at it in depth and they made this decision,” Sheriff Cook said. “I think it’s a wise decision.”
Cook says it costs roughly $455,000 a year to run the jailm which can hold 11 juveniles at a time. However, he says the jail has only averaged one to three juveniles a day for the last three years.
“It’s just not cost effective at all,” Sheriff Cook said.
He says he’s already talked with detention centers in Craighead and Crittenden County and he claims they have enough space to take those juveniles going forward.
“We want the public to know there is a place to send juveniles if they get out here and commit a crime,” Sheriff Cook said. “It’s not going to be here per say but there is a place close to put them.”
He says none of the staff members are losing their jobs.
“We had enough openings in the adult jail. All of them are moving in there,” Sheriff Cook said. “I have one that’s retiring and one that’s moving to another location.”
The closure would take effect Oct. 3. Cook is now considering how to repurpose the facility.
“I would like to have it for 309, state inmates,” Sheriff Cook said. “But whether we get them or not hasn’t been decided yet. It’s a long process to try to get some.”
Those types of inmates would have designated jobs at the jail.
State law prohibits housing juveniles with adult inmates.
Sheriff Cook says most of the juveniles they get are only in the jail for a short amount of time.