State sets aside money to reimburse jails


At the Pulaski County Jail, as many one in four of inmates is held for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. A large prison population is too much for ADC to handle, so county jails like Pulaski pick up the inmates and the slack. The problem is they haven't been picking up a check from the state to house the inmates"We're a quarter through the year, and we've used up 40 percent of our funding, so we need that money coming in so we can make it through the rest of the year," said Lt. Carl Minden.Currently, Arkansas has $126 million surplus. About $22 million has been approved for special projects and of that, $500,000 set aside to reimburse county jails."They pay by the day for some of these inmates, and the money has not been getting paid for the vast majority of them. So, this is relief for us as far as being able to continue operating the facility the way it needs to be done," said Lt. Minden.The money is only a short term fix, and soon lawmakers and leaders will need to address the long term problem."More beds necessarily the solution to it? Probably not. It's something that a lot of people, a lot of different entities, are going to have to get together and fix this for the long haul," said Minden.