Arkansas officials order closure of county jail

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas officials have ordered the closure of the Lawrence County jail due to overcrowding, lack of firefighting equipment and other inadequacies.

Sheriff Jody Dotson tells the Jonesboro Sun ( ) the jail has "consistently failed every inspection" in the last 10 years. He says the county has also been cited for inadequate cell space and lack of an exercise area.

Judge Dale Freeman says members of the Arkansas Jail Standards Committee visited Wednesday and wanted to close the jail immediately. He says committee members instead gave county officials until Sept. 17 to determine how to house their inmates.

Freeman has called for a special Quorum Court meeting Sept. 4.

Dotson says the county will choose between building another jail or sending the prisoners to other counties.

Information from: The Jonesboro Sun,

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