01/23/17  Cleveland County Looking To Hire Jailers


The Cleveland County Sheriff's department has begun advertising for jailers. The Arkansas Criminal Detention Facility Review Committee cited the county as being in non-compliance for not having jailers on staff to oversee the prisoners at the 10 bed facility. The county had been training radio dispatchers to serve as dispatchers and jailers, but the review committee said the two positions had to be separate. As a result, Cleveland County Sheriff Jack Rodgers says he'll have to hire four people to provide around the clock supervision in order to stay in compliance and keep the jail open.

According to a report in the Cleveland County Herald, the county included an extra $167,734.00 in the sheriff's department budget this year to help pay for new jailers plus provide more money to rent jail space outside the county to meet the state's policy regarding segregation of prisoners. State law requires prisoners to be separated on the basis of sex, charges and court standing.

The sheriff's department budgeted about $50,000.00 more this year to rent bed space outside the county. As of January 17, Cleveland County was paying bed space for five prisoners outside the county, including Brad Hunter Smith, who's being held on capital murder charges in Dallas County. Rodgers says the county is having to pay $35.00 a day to keep him in custody. Based on that rate it would cost Cleveland County $12,775.00 to hold Smith for another year. Cleveland County voters voted down a proposal in November to build a new county jail.