LISTEN: Speaking of Arkansas - Is a regional jail the answer to overcrowded county jails?

Detainees populate a block Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, during a tour of the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville. Washington County SheriffÕs Office wants the Quorum Court to approve a 232-bed expansion plan that the SheriffÕs Office says will ease the strain on the facility from covid-19 and any future pandemic illnesses.Visit nwaonline.com/221127Daily/ for today's photo gallery. .(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)
Detainees populate a block Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, during a tour of the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville. Washington County SheriffÕs Office wants the Quorum Court to approve a 232-bed expansion plan that the SheriffÕs Office says will ease the strain on the facility from covid-19 and any future pandemic illnesses.Visit nwaonline.com/221127Daily/ for today's photo gallery. .(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe)

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Washington County Judge Patrick Deakins says it’s time to look into the potential benefits of a regional jail for Northwest Arkansas. Deakins, a former Quorum Court member who took office as county judge in January 2023, discusses that idea as well as his proposal for a new form of zoning in Washington County. In this edition of Speaking of Arkansas, host Greg Harton speaks with Deakins about his desire to explore the regional jail concept that has, over the course of many years, generally been treated as a nonstarter among county and law enforcement leaders.

Washington County’s detention center population summary data cited by Deakins can be seen here and there’s also a story from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette when the county first posted those details.

Also, the latest new development involving the former Washington County jail’s use by the state and the pending closure of the Northwest Arkansas Crisis Stabilization Unit can be found here.

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