By Lisa Kopochinski
LINCOLN COUNTY, Ark.—Construction continues on the new $6 million Lincoln County Jail located approximately a half-mile from Star City, a small town with a population of approximately 2,000, on Arkansas Highway 11.
With a completion date slated for this June, the 13,600-square-foot facility—which is located on five acres—is being funded by a voter-approved county sales tax.
“It’s going great, with about 70 percent of the construction already completed,” said Lincoln County Sheriff Leonard Hogg, in a statement.
SouthBuild Team of Tennessee is overseeing the project. SpiritArchitecture Group and Smith-Doyle Contractors Inc. are also involved.
Both Hogg and County Judge Buddy Earnest worked together on the design and needs associated with the 40-plus bed facility.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will also relocate from the basement of the Lincoln County Courthouse to the new jail once it has been completed.
The new facility replaces the jail, which is cramped and has poor ventilation, and will offer inmates more space.
It will house 20 male and 20 female inmates, with a flex cell that can hold about 10 inmates of either gender, but not at the same time.
Instead of cells, the new jail will house about eight inmates in individual pods, each with access to televisions and phones. There will be video chat access to inmates and their lawyers.
The facility was designed so all interior areas can be viewed from a ground level observational station, with 70 security cameras inside and out, in addition to electronic, button-operated doors.
With a full-service kitchen, meals will be prepared onsite. A covered sally port, with internal and external automatic locking doors, is located at the entrance and exit.
Once completed, the county will be given a monthly operating budget, but Judge Earnest said he hopes the jail will help offset those costs by temporarily housing state inmates.