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EKY jail trying to cut overpopulation problem

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) An Eastern Kentucky jail has been known for its overcrowding problem for the past eight years.

“Anytime you have a jail that’s full, you have inmates who get into fights. They fight over beds, food, mattresses, any equipment you may issue to an inmate, they fight over,” Jail Administrator Tim Kilburn said.

The Kentucky River Regional Jail houses 242 inmates, that’s 85 more than the jail’s approved capacity; making some wonder why the jail is so over-saturated.

Perry County Judge Executive Denny Ray Noble suspects Wal Mart Supercenter in Hazard directly correlates with the rising jail population.

“That’s because we have Wal Mart, we have Lowes, we have hotels. With the good, comes the bad,” Noble added.

It costs $23.50 per day of your tax dollars to house just one inmate, and as funds continue to dry up, county leaders are being forced to figure out how to cut down jail populations.

“With a large percentage of those people put in jail from other counties are shoplifters,” Noble said.

County leaders are looking at cutting incarceration time on Alcohol Intoxication charges and offering more community service as well as home incarceration for non-violent offenders.

“The circuit and district judge have to do their job too. We look at finances and they look at the threat of the people out there. That’s their job to do that,” Noble added.

County leaders are also looking at changing the company they use for ankle monitoring on home incarceration inmates.

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