Information regarding Proposed Jail

 

Proposed Cross County Detention Center

To see the Power Point presentation about the proposed jail, click on  Proposed Cross County Detention Center.

JAIL EXTERIOR

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JAIL FLOOR PLAN

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For answers to any questions regarding a new jail, please send an email to the county judge by clicking on this link and including JAIL in the subject line: Email County Judge 

Refer back to this site for updates to the FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why do we need a new jail?
  • The current jail was built in 1968 with an addition built in 1981. Over the past 38-50 years, many physical aspects of the jail have deteriorated to the point they are no longer serviceable. The State Jail Standards Commission has set a deadline of May 1, 2019, for the County to have a plan in place to address areas of the current jail that do not meet current state standards. These areas of deficiency include plumbing, electrical, security, return air, and allotted space for the inmates.
What other options besides building a jail were considered?
  • A committee was formed by the Quorum Court nearly a year ago to study issues with the jail. It was not a 'build a jail' committee. South-Build Team LLC was hired to study what options were available to the County. As a result of the study, it was determined that the County had three options -- do nothing, renovate the current jail, or build a new jail. Its recommendation to the Quorum Court was building a jail was the best option.
Why is a 142-bed facility needed if we usually have fewer than 100 inmates?
  • The higher bed count is required in order to classify prisoners properly. Subgroups must be divided, including sex offenders, violent offenders, women, mental and sick, and sentenced and unsentenced.
What will happen if the sales tax does not pass?
  • The county would seek more time from the Jail Standards Commission, but reality would quickly set in if there is not a plan in place by May 1.
Where would the jail be built? (Updated 02/21/19)
  • The Cross County Quorum Court held a special meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, and voted to proceed with negotiations to purchase a 13.54 acre tract of land on Highway 1 south of Wynne. The tract lies between MFA Oil and the Farm Credit buildings. At this time, no land has been  purchased.

    Purchase of the land is contingent on the passing of the millage rate in the special election in April.

What factors went into the decision to buy this particular parcel of land?
  • The County was looking for a tract in the 10-15 acre range. This parcel is 13.54 acres. There needed to be access to utility services, including water, sewer, electricity and gas. This parcel has all of those.
  • The parcel needed road access to a major thoroughfare and this parcel is fronted by Highway 1.
  • The facility needs to be close to the courthouse because of the transfer of prisoners to the courthouse for trials.
  • This location is not in a flood zone.
  • The price of the land is approximately $169,250 or $12,500 per acre which was about the same as for other suggested properties. The lowest cost parcel that was considered would have required extensive road work and additional utility work before any construction could begin.
What are some notable features of the planned jail?
  • The facility features a mezzanine or tower so that all inmates can be seen at all time and water or power can be shut down immediately. That is not possible in the current jail and this has led to some problems.
Does the County currently house any federal prisoners?
  • No. The county has housed federal prisoners in the past, but does not at this time. The primary reason is that our current facility does not meet the federal jail standards.
Does the County currently house any state prisoners or from other counties?
  • There are some "309" prisoners in the county jail, but fewer than ten. We do house some from other counties, but currently fewer than five.

What factors went in to the decision about the building of the jail?

There were three key factors in the plans for a jail:

  • Safety of prisoners and law enforcement personnel
  • Long-term efficiency and economics of maintaining the facility
  • Constitutional rights of prisoners

Why not finance the jail by a millage instead of a sales tax?

  • Five mills currently generates $617,000 per year. This means it would take over thirty years to pay for the jail. Each penny of additional sales tax generates $2.2 million, so the jail can be paid off in about six years.
Whys are the offices of the Sheriff being moved, since the current building is good?
  • The Sheriff's office has a staff of six officers that are in the office much of the time. This means that these officers would be available to assist the jailers if there were a significant issue in the jail.