Logan County’s Detention Center is suffering overcrowding issues as many other jails throughout Kentucky are. What to do seems to be a question that doesn’t have an easy answer. Logan Jailer Phil Gregory reported Tuesday, Dec. 13 that his jail was over by 34 on the county side. County inmates are those who are in the judicial system and are awaiting processing. There is a state side to the jail as well, which houses inmates who have been processed and are serving out their sentences. This side, according to Gregory, is not overcrowded.
“We have little control over how many come into the jail and even less control on how long they stay,” said Gregory. “We do get plenty of cooperation from the county attorney’s office, as well as the judicial system, but unfortunately, sometimes with the increased amount of those being arrested, it takes time to get them all processed.”
Gregory says he is doing what he can to address the issue. One way is the purchase of additional stacker bunks. This has helped as far as bedding those overages. As of Tuesday morning, Logan County’s jail held 239 inmates, 104 being on the county side.
“It is not a Logan County issue,” said Gregory. “It is a statewide issue.”
The jailer says he sends out emails about the situation to the Kentucky Department of Corrections and is told the problem is all over the state. This is nothing unique to Logan County.
First District Magistrate Dickie Carter wonders why the increase. “What is going on? Why are there so many county inmates?” asked Carter, who said he knew it wasn’t Gregory’s fault.
Gregory said the drug problem in the state and on the national level is getting bad. Most of those in the local jail at this time are for drug related crimes. County Attorney Joe Ross predicted a rise during the month of December.
“These people are human beings and when you cram them in real tight it can cause problems,” Carter said. “Maybe we need to be adding onto the jail.”
Gregory agrees with Carter on the adding on idea. He said it may get to a point where there is no other option.
“I think if the situation doesn’t get any better, we will have to build on because we won’t be able to afford not to,” Gregory said.” “We will just need to keep an eye on the situation. If it keeps going like this, we will eventually be forced to build.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.