Jail picnic in Laurel County has special message

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A southern Kentucky jail is hosting a picnic this weekend for inmates and their family and friends. But it won't be all about food and fun.

This picnic comes with a twist, and the Laurel County jailer hopes it will motivate inmates to get back on the right track.

The inmate population inside the Laurel County Detention Center is currently about 400. Like any other jail, families can visit loved ones behind bars. But Jailer Jamie Mosley wants to take it a step further. He is trying a new idea by inviting family, friends, and inmates together for a summertime picnic.

This Saturday inmates will gather here in the sally port. At about 30 at a time, they will have a chance to get out their cell, eat hotdogs, hamburgers, and see their loved ones. But the key word is 'see.' The jailer says the inmates can only watch the fun and games from inside the sally port. They can't touch or converse with family.

"It's to create a situation where they're challenged in the future that they flash back to that and remember what they we're missing," said Jailer Jamie Mosley, with the Laurel County Detention Center.

Not everybody thinks this idea will be 100 percent positive. But one inmate, Thomas Lawson who is in for meth charges, sees this as an opportunity for his daughter to learn a lot.

"She can go over here to me you know because of what I've done hopefully this an eye opener to my daughter not to follow in my foot steps where I've been," said Thomas Lawson, an inmate at the Laurel County Detention Center.

In the end, Mosely hopes this unconventional idea will teach his inmates how normal life should be with family and not in jail.

The picnic is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the jail. Mosley says all the food and games will be donated.

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