By Ray King

Beginning Jan. 1, the Jefferson County Adult Jail will be charging a fee to house municipal prisoners.

An ordinance authorizing the fee, $30 per day per prisoner, was approved by the Quorum Court Monday night and on Tuesday, Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. explained what was going to happen.

Appearing on the OIdies 101.3 morning show, Woods said the $30 figure is more than reasonable considering the fact that the sheriff’s department has to house, clothe, feed, and provide medical coverage for detainees, as well as take them to court.

With the Arkansas Supreme Court ordering that no trials be held at least through January, Woods said there will be a hugh backlog when they do resume, and people who were arrested but not detained because of the pandemic will be served warrants and the jail will need space for them.

He said he was going to contact Department of Corrections Director Dexter Payne and try to get prisoners being held for prison bed space picked up.

“I’ve got about 12 like to get transferred,” Woods said.

On another subject, Woods talked about holiday shopping and encouraged people to shop online when possible but agreed that residents also need to support local merchants whenever they can.