A 38-member committee has been appointed to study the operation of the Little River County, Ark., jail and make suggestions to keep the jail open, said Little River County Judge Mike Cranford.
Sterling Penix, a member of the Arkansas Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee, suggested the county appoint a review committee to prepare options to improve housing of Little River County prisoners.
Cranford has heeded Penix's suggestion.
"We're going to study the problem, and we're looking for the best options to operate the jail for the next 30 years," Cranford said.
The county has to "farm out" the prisoners to other counties, Cranford said.
The deadline to list options will be December 2019, he said.
"We can't send prisoners home. We also have to have a staff to operate the jail," Cranford said.
The committee will aim for long-term solutions.
"In no way will we suggest tax increases. Twice the voters rejected using a sales tax to improve the jail. We heard what the voters said," Cranford said.
"The committee will have a variety of backgrounds. Some will be liberal some will be conservative. By a variety of views, we will come to a good solution," he said.
The meetings will be open to the public, and the meeting dates will be announced.
The 38-member committee includes: