Social media chatter indicates that plans are underway to construct a new criminal justice facility (jail) in Phillips County. That's good news for the people of this east Arkansas Delta county and community.

Social media chatter indicates that plans are underway to construct a new criminal justice facility (jail) in Phillips County. That's good news for the people of this east Arkansas Delta county and community.

County Judge Clark Hall made the announcement on his Facebook page and at the June 13 quorum court session. The Chamber of Commerce also posted the announcement on its Facebook site.

According to Hall, the new facility will benefit all citizens of the Delta region.

Members of the Phillips County Quorum Court unanimously gave Hall the green light to proceed with the “vital project.” The new criminal justice facility will be located on the Highway 49 Bypass.

To demonstrate their united support for the effort, Sheriff Neal Byrd and his Chief Deputy Darrell Winston along with Major Roy Covington of the Helena-West Police Department and Marvell Police Chief Vincent Bell were on hand at the meeting of the JPs.

Hall made this statement on Facebook, “ Over the past several years, the one thing all citizens in Phillips County have been in agreement on is the need for a new jail facility. A business plan is being developed that will allow us to build and maintain this facility without any new taxes.”

There was no mention as to where the revenue for the project would come.

Hall did report that he has been working diligently since he took office back on Jan. 1 to provide a safe and secure detention facility without the need to levy any additional taxes.

Phillips County has been without a jail since April 30, 2013. The former jail, which was 30 years old, was closed after failing to pass inspection because of several serious violations. Phillips County and Helena-West Helena prisoners have since been transferred to jails in other counties at a great expense to the county and the city.