Inmates are sleeping on mats of the floor at the Logan County Detention Center as overcrowding on the county side of the jail continues to be a problem, accoding to Jailer Phil Gregory.
There are two sides to the Logan County Detention Center. There is the secure side of the jail where inmates who are classified as “county” are kept, awaiting their turn through the judicial system, and then there is the other side where Class D inmates are kept, those being classified as “state” inmates who have already been sentenced and are serving out their time.
According to Gregory you can’t put a county inmate on the state side and it’s the county side that has become overcrowded.
Gregory has been telling the fiscal court, which is made up of six magistrates and a judge executive, overcrowding has become an issue. Gregory once again mentioned the problem to magistrates at their Tuesday, Aug. 23 meeting.
Magistrate Dickie Carter, who has supported the idea of building onto the jail, said something needs to be done.
“This is not a good thing,” said Carter at Tuesday’s meeting. “We need to do something. These are somebody’s kids. We can’t treat them like this.”
Gregory agreed something needed to be looked into to alleviate the overcrowding. However, he reminded the court of the distinction between the two sides.
The state inmate population has grown over the last year intentionally as Gregory is trying to offset costs of the jail with revenue gained by state inmates stay. The Commonwealth pays for a big percentage of a “state” inmates stay at the jail, whereas the “county” inmates stay is paid out of local taxes.
“We need to remember I could send every state inmate away to another jail, but we would still have the same problem of overcrowding on the county side,” said Gregory. “It’s not the state inmate numbers that are causing this problem.”
Magistrate Thomas Bouldin asked Gregory is the judicial system ever takes note when a jail is overcrowded.
“I am not insinuating the judges and county attorney are not doing their jobs, I just wonder if this pressure affects the judicial system in how fast they process cases,”said Bouldin.
Gregory said everyone is doing all they can to process the cases as efficiently as possible.
“The judges do all they can. This is a problem that is being had all over the state,” Gregory added.
The state of Kentucky is considering opening three jails soon to house “state” inmates. However, this move will not help the overcrowding on the county sides of the jails.
Logan County’s Detention Center has 70 beds on the county side. The jail currently has 11 inmates over that amount.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.