BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Benton County Officials in Bentonville have been researching the potential expansion of their county correctional facility. That expansion is now expected to commence within the next two months, according to Benton officials.
The issue of overcrowding has hindered the court judge’s ability to place convictions on several different worthy defendants, and with the new expansion, judges will not have to face this obstacle for a long time.
The initial plan involves moving around a few administrative and non-jail functioning offices into a single space, thus creating a new facility for inmates that have been found guilty for a misdemeanor crime, according to Judge Bob Clinard, who serves as the judge for Benton County.
Clinard expects that the shuffling around of these offices will create space for about 30 additional inmates and will provide a little less weight on the shoulders of decision-driven judges.
This small-scale project will also serve as a stepping-stone deal, allowing for the actual expansions to the facility to be performed once the initial relocation has been enacted. At first glance, Clinard and the County of Benton wish to spend around $1.8 to 1.9 million on the expansion of the correctional facility. In the end, the expansions to the facility should provide 150 to 200 extra beds for the county.
This expansion is proving to be vital to the success of the county, and the overall expansion of the prison system. The county has also discussed the possibility of resurrecting a new courts building. If both buildings were to be erected, the project would amount to approximately $24 million.
The budget for both projects has been submitted to the budget committee and is currently being looked into further.