HOT SPRING COUNTY, Ark. – The Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office said its county jail holds more than 50 inmates and is currently at full capacity. The Sheriff said the department has made many felony arrests and hundreds of traffic stops this year.
Sheriff Scott Finkbeiner said the county jail they currently have holds one fifth of their population.
“We’re going to have to release people we don’t want to release, that’s stolen property and stuff like that,” Finkbeiner said.
Finkbeiner said the jail is at capacity with 55 inmates being housed inside, however they’re having to release some with misdemeanors to make room for violent criminals.
“We can’t really hold misdemeanors, at least for very long, because we have violent felons. We have child molesters, murderers in the jail, you obviously can’t release them,” Finkbeiner said.
He adds the decision on who gets released depends on a certain level of criteria and must be resolved by several department and county officials.
Finkbeiner said they’ve managed to transfer 15 inmates to other county jails, but it was difficult.
“I would say most jails in the state of Arkansas are at capacity,” Finkbeiner said.
He goes on to say they’re working on getting a larger jail by writing up a package of research they hope to present to the county’s quorum court in the summer.
Josh Kassaw works and lives close to the jail; he said he wasn’t shocked to learn the jail is at full capacity.
“It doesn’t surprise me, it is kind of a small jail,” Kassaw stated.
Kassaw also said he believes everyone deserves a second chance.
“As long as they’re not causing issues, I don’t see the problem with it,” Kassaw admitted.
Finkbeiner also said they are seeing a shift in their crime.
“We have conducted around 600 traffic stops,” Finkbeiner said.
Which is why Finkbeiner said they’ve ordered more resources.
“We have ordered radar units and the vehicles we have ordered new tasers and are in the process of taking bids for body cams,” Finkbeiner stated.