Crawford County Voters Approve Funding For $20 Million Dollar Jail

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Crawford County residents approved a sales tax increase to fund a new jail Tuesday. Officials said a new jail is needed due to overcrowding problems at the Crawford County Detention Center.

The approved sales tax increase is for three quarters of a cent sales tax increase.

A half cent will go towards the construction and a quarter of a cent will go towards facility operations.

Officials said the tax will start this October.

Mavis Nigh lives where the jail will be built.

“I’m going to get gone,” Nigh said. “Probably going to leave, I don’t see much choice.”

Diane Shrum lives next to the future jail. She is excited to see it come to town and is a former employee of the Crawford County Detention Center.

“We had probably 100 to 125 people there,” Shrum said. “At times there would be so many beds on the floor of the female cell we couldn’t even roll a cart in to feed them.”

4,279 voted for the construction funding while 3,981 voted against.

4,199 voted for the maintenance funding while 3,974voted against.

The new jail will house 300 inmates on U.S. 64 just outside of Van Buren.

Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said they hope to break ground by early 2015.


  • Kevin

    That was slick how they split it up so it wouldn’t seem so much. The tax will NEVER go away and they will want more in a year or two.

    • Ignorant Fools

      People will vote just about any tax in…they love letting government handle their money for them…. lol

  • Bobby Lansdell

    The government wants to tax the people to build bigger facilities. 10 percent sales taxes is rediculious. How bout giving the working people a pay increase so that we can afford to survive. We probably wouldn’t oppose to higher taxes. How many tax increases are we still paying out that has expired.

  • fed up with crybabies

    Those who think Crawford County doesn’t need more jail space are either living in la-la land, or they, their friends, or relatives, are likely to be frequent residents. The fact is there are criminals walking the streets because there is no space in the present jail to house them. Instead of whining about a tax increase, how about some alternate suggestions to ease overcrowding and the revolving door at the current jail? I agree with Judge Parker style of justice, AZ type tent jails, and public flogging, but none of these are viable options. The voters have spoken, and as liberals love to say, elections have consequences. For a change, the consequence is a good one.

    • Mel Sams

      And it is usally the ones that Didn’t want a new jail that are the First to call for help and want someone Locked-Up.. What mess’s this up is the County Tax that is now tied in with the Van Buren City Tax for their new Police Station.. I am for Both but it needs to be Priority over Walking and Biking trails or Parks that need nothing, and timming back on the New City and County Vehicles, they can use them twice as long as they let on. The new Jail has been Voted in and thats that.

    • Dick Peters

      You are a fool. Half the voters are against this….so does that mean that half the voters plan on being residents there? Fool!!

      • fed up with crybabies

        You seem to be the fool peters, try learning to read. You will be amazed at all that’s out there. La-la land means being in denial, not willing to recognize reality. You seem to fit that pattern. Yes, many of those who will inhabit the jail whined and complained about the “tax” while understanding just what it means for them. Attend an open district or circuit court session once in a while, and get a grasp on the real world. More than half the voters were for the jail, that’s why the measures passed. Fool!!

  • Ron Kaylor

    Great another tax, starting in October, don’t go out to eat in V.B. you will be paying about 11% sales tax. Can not serve beer outside though, thats just horrible to do. Lets build a bigger jail to house all the “criminals” in Crawford. I voted against the tax, mainly due to being passed around the courthouse like a hot potatoe, and no one down there could even break down the taxes we already pay. The one lady that tried, started arguing with me. Oh, well guess I will do more shopping in Ft. Smith staring in October. Enjoy the new jail.

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