Work is officially underway on the new Seward County Justice Center, which will combine the county’s sheriff’s office, courts, attorney’s office, emergency dispatch center, public defender’s office and probation programs. The new $15 million facility may take up to two years to complete, but the county hopes to begin transferring inmates by the winter of 2017.
Facing closure for being out of compliance with state regulations, the current Marion County 20-bed jail, located in Yellville, now faces potential replacement by a new, 62-bed jail costing an estimated $7.2 million.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordered the stoppage of all work on the contentious Orleans Parish Prison on June 24, only to have a civil district judge rule in favor of the sheriff’s office and temporarily order progress to resume on June 26. Work will now continue until July 8, when a hearing will take place to decide the project’s next move.
Utah lawmakers and correctional leaders held a hearing on June 16 to discuss four potential sites for the state’s new correctional facility.
This latest hearing follows three informational meetings held over May and early June in Salt Lake City, Grantsville and the Eagle Mountain/Fairfield area, all of which are potential sites for the soon-to-be-relocated state prison.
The Arkansas Department of Correction has started on Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s $33 million plan to address prison overcrowding in the state. While the plan does not involve building a new prison, it does involve adding prison beds, hiring new parole and probation officers, and investing in re-entry and alternative sentencing programs.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on May 26 for the new Macon County Courthouse and Jail project. During the ceremony, three county commissioners took turns discussing the courthouse jail project, which they began planning several years ago.
Texas state lawmakers in both the House and Senate voted on Monday in support of House Bill 549, requiring that county jails provide inmates with greater access to in-person visitation. The bill, brought by Rep. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas) will require county jails to make at least two, 20-minute, in-person visits available to inmates each week.