The Pulaski County Jail reopened Monday morning more than six weeks after being shut down due to overcrowding. Monday’s population was reported to be 1,126, which is less than 100 beds below the funded capacity.
Lieutenant Carl Minden said inmates who belong at state facilities being housed at county jail has been a recurring problem and an issue Pulaski County Jail has been grappling with for several decades. Minden added it is a relief to have the space now, but it is unclear how long the facility can go before the numbers are too high again.
“I’ve watched, you know 70 people get booked in a day, just on one shift. You know, it seems like a lot, but it’s Pulaski County, it’s very populated and there’s just no way to tell how long that’s gonna last,” he said.
The Arkansas Sheriff’s Association has asked Governor Mike Beebe to call a special legislative session to address jail overcrowding statewide. The Association added they have an alternative plan if lawmakers do not intervene, but have yet to go public with the details.