MONROE COUNTY, Ark. — The Monroe County Quorum Court passed a resolution Monday night to recommend the temporary closing of its county prison.
This was a resolution passed by a vote of seven to one and one member abstaining. The jail will cease operation on August 1.
The resolution allowed Sheriff Michael Neal a week to respond to the need for personnel to operate the jail which can resume operation if the Quorum Court deems it can be funded to do so by October 1.
The Quorum Court also passed a resolution where they would house five prisoners in Prairie County’s jail.
Sheriff Neal said this could potentially be a huge problem for the county because there are currently 15 prisoners being housed in Monroe County.
“So this is kindergarten math, if I have seven rapists/murderers in jail, I can only house five of them now, so two of them get to go free I guess. This is where it doesn’t make sense, this is where, as Sheriff, I have to house prisoners but now I have a number put on me,” Sheriff Neal said.
Sheriff Neal also said the county can use other funds such as the American Rescue Plan money to fund those positions.
KARK reached out to members of the Quorum Court and County Judge Larry Taylor but they have not responded.