Wednesday, September 13, 2000
State: Rethink plans for jails
Not enough prisoners to go around?
The Associated Press
FRANKFORT The jail boom may be coming to an end.
For years, many counties built new jails to accommodate their own prisoners, but also to take advantage of payments the state made to house its prisoners.
Kentucky Corrections Commissioner Doug Sapp said in an Aug. 11 letter that the state is experiencing an unexpected decrease in inmate populations.
The letter noted that counties continue to borrow money for jail construction even during a decrease in state inmate numbers. The decline in the number of jail occupants is attributed, in part, to alternative sentencing laws passed two years ago.
We are very concerned that an excess of jail beds may be in the pipeline. We urge extreme caution when you consider jail construction, the letter said.
Despite the letter, Kentucky Jailers Association President Howard Taylor said he knows of no community that is canceling jail construction. Some counties think they can get more state revenue if they build bigger jails, Mr. Taylor said. That's no longer true, he said.
A planned $88 million state prison has officials in Simpson County worried. The current jail there is severely overcrowded.
But none of these inmate population concerns have kept Carter County, in eastern Kentucky, from constructing a new 125-bed jail.
We had already talked it over, and it was determined that it was needed here, Judge-executive Alice Binion said.
She said the county had already bought the land for the new jail.
Dan Hayes, an opponent of a new jail in Taylor County, said he and other residents are afraid a new 125-bed jail would force the county into debt.
Adair County has a jail, he said. Marion County has a jail. Casey County is in the process of building a jail. Where are we going to get prisoners from?
Proponents argue that Taylor County spends $570,000 a year sending inmates to neighboring county jails.
Mr. Hayes has taken advantage of an obscure state law to force state officials to reconsider Taylor County's plans.
Mr. Hayes asked the state Debt Commission, which may have last met in 1944, to reconsider the permission given to Taylor County to borrow money for the new jail. A hearing officer took testimony Tuesday and will make recommendations within a month. The commission, composed of six of the seven elected statewide officers and three Cabinet secretaries, will then meet to consider the recommendations.
Gore effort takes bus to Cincy
Title IX lawsuit expanded
Double the TV time, but it's all on tape
Genetic bar code study promising
Fire chief stays on as consultant
Homework load called too heavy
UDF offers to buy seized site
SAMPLES: Protests awry
Ensemble helps develop a 'Glimmer'
Physician talks up women's total health
Adoptees go to grand jury
Boy, 16, indicted in shooting death
Chief: Deaths double suicide
Educator explains Bush views
Ex-auditor sues city over funds
Group aims to raise funds
Kids dare to challenge cut to anti-drug program
Ky. senator attacked on tax votes
Lines drawn on legislative sessions
Metro shares options, asks for feedback
Natural gas prices addressed
No newborns given up since program's start
Public hearing on air permit
Several witness shooting death
Shoppers blaze trail to store
State: Rethink plans for jails
Suffocation is trial question
Sycamore Schools selects new superintendent
Teen-ager sent to adult court over student's kidnap-slaying
workers treated after chemical spill
KIESEWETTER: WVXU manager asks listeners to share
CROWLEY: Subliminal 'rats' clever (not)
Get to it
Kentucky News Briefs
Pig Parade: Typigraphic
Tristate A.M. Report