Detention Center close to maxing out

Friday, December 18, 2009

By Anna Mathews

Carroll County News

BERRYVILLE -- The number of prisoners held at the Carroll County Detention Center has been nearing capacity with the arrival of 15 Pulaski County inmates on Wednesday.

Their arrival upped the inmate numbers to 96, near the 100 mark, which is close to maximum for the staff.

According to Jail Administrator Archie Rousey, he was short two jailers when the Pulaski group arrived because of position vacancies, but said he hoped to have those slots filled by week's end.

Advertisements for replacements had reaped benefits with several promising candidates ready to interview, he said.

The Pulaski County group, he explained, are all prisoners who have been convicted of crimes and are awaiting beds at the Arkansas Department of Correction.

He said Pulaski County, which takes in the large population areas of Little Rock and North Little Rock, has experienced overcrowding at its jail for some time. Several hundred of its 1,000-plus inmates are awaiting state prison space, he said, and Carroll County is one of several county jails across the state helping out Pulaski County officials by taking some of those prisoners.

He said Carroll County gets paid $28 a day to house the inmates, who may stay 30 to 60 days or longer.

"We've had some who have stayed as many as 90 or 100 days," said Rousey.

Those awaiting state prison beds are classified as either Fast Track 1 or Fast Track 2, Rousey said, depending on the severity of their crime and whether they are repeat offenders or first-timers. The worst are classified as Fast Track 1, he said, and are given prison beds first. The others, held on relatively minor offenses, are allowed to linger at county facilities longer.

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