Benton County Judge Seeks To Expand Jail To House Misdemeanor Suspects

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BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) - The Benton County Jail may soon have room to house more inmates accused of committing misdemeanor crimes.

The Benton County Jail is running out of room to house inmates accused of misdemeanors. So, Benton County Judge Bob Clinard said he's pushing ahead with plans to expand the jail.

"Our district judges are very disappointed," he said. "They can not carry on justice in their courts without the ability to put someone in jail if they don't fulfill requirements of their court."

Clinard said his expansion project will make room for 90 misdemeanor inmates, space the jail does not have right now.

"They need to have a disciplinary action attached to those misdemeanor convictions," he said. "They need to be able to put them in jail for a day or two or three or four or a week to get their attention.

The project entails modifying the F-pod. That pod was an original part of the 1966 design of the jail, but has since been used for administrative work.

"I said I can build a new addition to this F-pod that would be just for administrative purposes for a workout area, a storage area for the jail, and for the laundry and eating rooms of the officers," Clinard said. "Then turn this (F-pod) back into an area that we can keep and house misdemeanors."

The plan also includes adding to the area where women are housed. The new facility would up to 12 high risk woman inmates.

Clinard said the plans will be presented at the Quorum Court Meeting on Thursday (April 2). The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

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