The jail: Making progress | Arkansas Blog

Monday, March 17, 2008

The jail: Making progress

Posted By on Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 2:33 PM

Former UALR chancellor Dr. Charles E. Hathaway held a press conference today at the Pulaski County jail to assess the county's response following last year’s UALR task force report on making Pulaski County a safer place to live. Overall, he said, “the news is good.”

After lauding county officials and members of the Quorum Court for their willingness to cooperate with the suggestions made in the UALR report, Hathaway made a number of suggestions for further improvement. Among those recommendations: requiring all members of the Quorum Court to undergo training on reading and understanding fiscal reports (training which he said UALR will provide free if asked); an annual audit of county finances by an outside firm; and that the Prevention, Intervention and Treatment programs utilized by the county should be evaluated by a “nationally recognized external entity” as to their financial soundness and effectiveness.

He noted the sheriff has a plan for expanding the jail, but there's not yet a plan in place to pay for the staff to operate an expanded facility. That, he said, "cannot be achieved with one-time funds or sunset tax issues. These are continuing costs that are needed to assure the right of all citizens to live in safety." He asked that county officials examine a recently accumulated surplus to see if it represents recurring savings that could be devoted to jail operation.

The original UALR Task Force report, “Breaking the Crime Chain: Making Pulaski County Safe,” is available at: http://ualr.edu/publicsafetystudy/

We'll give you a link to the new report when it's on-line.

-- David Koon



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