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Logan County looks at developing new jail

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 18, 2014 at 8:43 a.m.

PARIS — After discussions about a shared jail for two western Arkansas counties fell through, one of the counties said it is moving forward with plans to build its own facility.

Earlier this year, officials in Logan and Franklin counties were exploring building a 150- to 200-bed jail that would be shared by the two counties, the Times Record reported. Logan County Jail Committee board chairman Mike Schluterman said the committee met earlier this month and decided to consider building its own jail.

"The impression we got from Franklin County was that they were not interested and wanted to go their own way," Schluterman said. "Our plan is to go back, reanalyze and determine exactly what we need in the form of a jail."

Logan County has a 34-bed jail in Paris that was built in 1989 and houses male and female inmates. The jail's inmate log showed Friday that 38 inmates were being detained there.

A jail review committee inspected the facility in November and told county officials they needed to address issues including overcrowding. The county's sheriff, Steve Smith, would like a facility with at least 100 beds, according to Schluterman.

Schluterman said the county is considering a possible sales tax for some time next year to pay for the jail.

"We are going to have to get out and try to inform the people of Logan County that we need a jail," he said. "The hard part is we are going to have to sell a sales tax to the people, and that will be difficult."


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