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Bell County inmates helping to renovate jail


BELL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The Bell County Detention Center, built in 1940-41, is getting a facelift thanks to some of its inmates. The inmates can get time taken off their sentences for the work.

Inmate Michael Wilson is painting the cells in the Bell County Detention Center.
"It keeps me out of trouble for one," he said.

He is one of a dozen inmates doing the labor to renovate the jail. "It helps me out and it helps them out, the county," Wilson said.

Each day of work gets him one day closer to going home. The inmates are rewarded with time off their sentence. Jailers say each day of work is one day off their sentence. For Wilson, that means he can see his children sooner.

"I'm actually pretty much thankful for it," Wilson said.

Bell County Jailer Rex Miller says having inmates do the work saves taxpayer dollars.

"This saves the county. This project here we're doing will save the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars," Miller said.

He says this way they do not have to pay someone to do the work. Miller says it also does more than save money. It teaches the inmates a work ethic.

"Michael's been a great inmate while he's here. He's helped out with everything. He never says no. He's always there on the spot," said Miller.

"Work everyday until it's done," said Wilson.

Inmates charged with violent crimes or felonies cannot participate in the renovation work program.

Jail employees are also giving up some of their time to help with the work.


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