Jail plagued with problems asks city leaders for help

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Louisville Metro Corrections has been plagued with problems for months. From overcrowding, to overdoses, they are now turning to the city for help.

Inside every dorm at Metro Corrections there are more people than there are bunks. The facility is built to sleep about 1,800 inmates but on an average night nearly 2,300 are in custody.

“We are at an all-time high as far back as we have records available," Director Mark Bolton said.

Jail officials said overcrowding is the foundation of the facility's issues.

From extra costs in the kitchen, to forced overtime for those running the facility, it’s not only putting them over budget for the first time in the jail's history but it’s also considered highly dangerous.

Steve Durham said, "It’s a big safety concern, we all recognize that and were aware of that."

It's the biggest problem the jail faces today, but it isn't the only problem.  A growing number of overdoses happening inside and employees accused of bringing in contraband also add to the list of issues.

To face them jail leaders claim they need more money and that the annual budget of $55.49 million just isn't cutting it.

They said they're looking to the city for help.

"We as Metro Council can allocate funds to the jail," Metro Councilman David James said.

He said problems inside the four walls of Metro Corrections are a high priority. That’s why he asked Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton to speak to the Public Safety Committee twice in the last month.

"Sometimes its finding out what needs to be done and some things we can do," James said.

He said the council knows what needs to be done.

They've talked about working with the state to ease overcrowding and are carving out space in next year's budget to cover costs of needed upgrades.

But when it comes to changing policy and the way the jail operates, that's out of their hands.

"It’s up to the Mayor's office to decide if that's what he wants to do. We brought the issue to the table and he's the executive of the government so he'll decide if that's what he wants to take place," James said.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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