Sheriff Jody Dotson announced to the public that the Lawrence County Jail will be closed after the Arkansas Jail Standards Committee voted 5-0 in favor of closing the jail. According to Dotson, the Lawrence County Jail has failed inspection for over ten years. By the rules and regulations set forth by the state, jails must adhere to certain standards that the current jail can not meet even with a remodel. According to the Jail Standards committee the Lawrence County jail does not meet the minimum square footage requirements, no natural lighting for the inmates, outdated sprinkler system, no day use area and several other violations.

The deadline set by the committee to close the jail is September 17th and if the jail is not closed by then the Attorney General’s Office will file a lawsuit.

Once the vote was in, Sheriff Dotson began to attempt to make arrangements with other facilities to house the current inmates. Judge Dale Freeman scheduled a September 4th special meeting with the Quorum Court where members of the Jail Standards Committee will return to explain to the members their decision. Both Judge Freeman and Sheriff Dotson expressed to the committee how they have both addressed this over the last few years knowing the jail was in violation and jeopardy of being closed. Judge Freeman made copies of the violations presented by the committee and delivered them to Quorum Court members in advance of next week’s meeting.