County's new detention center breaks 6-year cycle of being without one

Detention center to hold 100 inmates

By Jacque Masse
Fox 13 Memphis

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. - Phillips County, who has not had a jail since 2013, will introduce a new detention center in December 2019.

“The new detention center will hold 100 inmates when it’s finished in December,” Helena-West Helena’s police chief James Smith said. “The jail was closed back then because it didn’t meet the state jail requirements.”

A law enforcement building will be built next door to the new detention center.

Smith told FOX13 the city is spending over $10,000 a month with inmate bills and law enforcement has to transport inmates outside the county.

Smith said voters agreed to pay taxes for the jail and a new law enforcement building in 2017.

“This facility will have different rehabilitation and re-entry programs to help people who come in to get back into the community and society,” Smith said.

Smith told FOX13 the building next door will have offices for police and fire and sheriff deputies.

“Think about coming into a facility to where you walk in the door, you have police on one side and a sheriff on the other side,” Smith said.

The building will also save space for Arkansas state police troopers and juvenile court employees.

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