PLEASE click on image of some Washington County, Arkansas, Quorum Court members after a committee meeting Tuesday that was not recorded for showing on Government Channel.
A reporter covered the meeting for a local newspaper, but the the Government Channel would have recorded on video and shown the meeting on City 16 had the county requested such coverage. Time to get with the Freedom of Information Act and use government-access television to help.
Washington County Quorum Court committee meeting on Feb. 3, 2009
No move on jail fee increase by Quorum Court - for now
BY TRISH HOLLENBECK Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009
What was meant as a way to discourage district judges from putting people who violate city ordinances in jail for long periods - such as 30 days - was put on hold Tuesday night during a meeting of the Quorum Court Jail, Law Enforcement and Courts Committee.
Justice of the Peace Jack Norton sponsored the measure, which County Attorney George Butler and others agreed needs to be reworked before the next committee meeting.
The essence of the proposed ordinance is that the county would begin charging the daily fee of $60.81 per inmate beginning on the 11th day of incarceration in the detention center for those who are jailed for violating city ordinances.
An example of one of these ordinance violations was failing to cut grass or clean up property. These do not include state misdemeanors, such as drug charges and other things considered to be criminal activity.
"They're taking up jail space," Norton said.
The $60.81 is what detention officials say is the actual cost of keeping an inmate.
The proposed ordinance would exclude Fayetteville, which has an interlocal agreement with the county for misdemeanor violators that specifies paying a onetime $50 booking fee - no daily fees are charged.