HOT SPRINGS, AR - At a glance, the Garland County jail looks like a functioning facility. The food trays are full. The uniforms and blankets are clean. But if you look closer at the rotting cell blocks and malfunctioning equipment, it's a different story.
"We're doing it in a facility that's built for 88 and we're trying to do it with 200," said Lieutenant James Martin with the Garland County Sheriff's Department.
"You've got people sleeping on the floor, you've got blind spots, you've got a very dangerous situation for our people who work here," said Kirby Williams, the campaign manager for the "One Cent for Safety" sales tax.
The jail is operating at more than double it's capacity and that's not counting the 100 inmates released each week because there's not enough room.
"Sometimes it comes down to, 'Do you turn loose the guy that's been threatening his wife or the guy that has four DWI's?'" said Kirby.
The "One Cent For Safety" sales tax could change it all. Tuesday, voters decide whether a new jail is built. A bigger one with better security.
"They can get behind some of the posts, they can get back in the corners and the cameras won't see what they're doing, the guards are unable to monitor their activity," said Lt. Martin.
Even in the yard, there are dark places and blind spots that guards cant see.
Locks on certain jail cells are broken and replacement parts don't exist.
"We've gotten to the point where we have to put padlocks on the doors in order to secure somebody," said Lt. Martin.
Along with overcrowding, the jail is understaffed which makes a dangerous job even worse.
"Our guys are sentenced to this every single day. They don't have a choice. 365 days a year, day in and day out they have to be here," said Lt. Martin.
If passed, the sales tax would remain one cent until construction on the jail is complete. Then the tax drops to three-eighths of a cent. A similar sales tax for a new Garland County jail went up for a vote three years ago but few voters supported the push. Polls open, Tuesday, at 7:30 am and close at 7:30pm.