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Local & Regional News

Hutchinson Pledges Support for Crisis Center

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Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has pledged support for a crisis stabilization center in Craighead County.  KASU’s Johnathan Reaves has more:

The confirmation came in the form of a letter.  In the letter obtained by KASU News, Governor Hutchinson told newly-elected Craighead County Judge Marvin Day the state is committed to providing one-point-six-million-dollars in start-up funding for the center. 

The center would be one of four centers in the state that would be designated to provide mental health services to those who need it, instead of just arresting them.  The center would serve 13 counties in the region and would house 16 beds. 

The crisis stabilization center originally was to be housed in an  old nursing home facility that would also help the homeless, but plans were nixed in 2017 after opposition to the plans surfaced.  Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd was concerned the county could lose the money if a facility was not found.  This letter confirms the state’s commitment to placing a center in Jonesboro. 

"In designating Craighead County as a site for a Crisis Stabilization Unit, the state committed to providing $1.6 million in start-up funding," Hutchinson says in the letter.  "The state also committe to provide additional support if funding is avaialble and individual units show signs of success in meeting the mission of this project.  Plans and preparation for the Crisis Stabilization Unit in Craighead County are showing great promise, which is a compliment to the strong leadership of people like you, Sheriff Marty Boyd, and Mid-South Health CEO, Ruth Allison Dover.  With this in mind, I write you to confirm my committment to the success of the Crisis Stabilization Units, like this one in Craighead County, has not changed."

Craighead County Judge Marvin Day says the new center is expected to be built on the grounds of the current county jail.  Governor Hutchinson says additional support of the project could be available if additional funding for sites are approved.