Central Ky. jail seeks solution to overcrowding

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Associated Press

Posted on August 16, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 16 at 12:01 PM

DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Officials in Boyle County are seeking a permanent solution to a habitually overcrowded jail.

The Advocate-Messenger (http://bit.ly/VghLMO) reports Fiscal Court recently approved a proposal to allow Jailer Barry Harmon to get more information about options for outpatient drug treatment programs after hearing other measures failed to reduce the population.

"The last time we discussed this they were over 300 and I can't live with that," Judge Executive Harold McKinney said.

Under such programs, nonviolent offenders would be allowed to work while reporting to court-mandated treatment five days per week.

The actions come after Harmon told police in July not to arrest nonviolent offenders unless they had warrants, violation of probation or certain conditions mandating it because the facility was full.

Boyle County Attorney Richard Campbell said officials tried to reduce the number of inmates by releasing those who were nonviolent or low-risk offenders, but he says that process was nullified by a high recidivism rate and a deluge of warrants.

Campbell said most arrests involve drugs.

"Nobody stays clean," Campbell said. "What are our options?"

The population at the jail has fluctuated between 290 and 300 in recent weeks but climbed to 306 last Saturday.

Harmon said the Kentucky Alternative Program, which regulates court-ordered treatment and drug testing, doesn't work and an in-house program treats only males.

"Seventy-five percent recidivism makes no sense," McKinney said.

Campbell said dozens of warrants had piled up on District Judge Jeff Dotson's desk in recent days as prosecutors review cases for release.

"These people can't get from one court date to the next without getting rearrested," Campbell replied. "People just can't stay clean and even the defense lawyers are frustrated."

The arresting agencies that send the most offenders to the jail include the Boyle County Sheriff, the Danville Police Department, Harrodsburg police, Mercer County deputies and Kentucky State Police.

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Information from: The (Danville, Ky.) Advocate-Messenger, http://www.centralkynews.com/amnews

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