Skip to content

Jail reopening discussed

During the citizen participation portion of the Fiscal Court meeting Brian Hill brought up the McCreary County Detention Center, asking for an update on developments with the Department of Corrections for a possible reopening of the facility.
Hill stated costs for housing and transporting prisoners cost about $200,000 more than expected, and asked where the funding came from to make up the difference. Judge Stephens replied: “it comes from everywhere,” meaning from the General Fund.
In actuality, according to numbers released by the McCreary County Judge Executives’ Office, the Jail was about $117,000 over budget for the fiscal year. A total of $651,100 was allocated in the initial budget, while $768,414.30 was actually expended.
The majority of the expense came from housing, with $440,397 spent over the 12-month period, with an additional $20,000 in medical costs.
Much of the funding to cover that shortfall came through the McCreary County Ambulance Service, which had revenues exceeding expenses for the year totaling more than $135,000,
Judge Stephens said there is a possibility the Department of Corrections may allow the county to work on repairing the facility so it can house prisoners once again. He noted a new Jailer will be in place come January, which the DOC has stated would be a positive step for the county.
He also noted the Department of Corrections is scheduled to come to the county to meet with him and other political candidates in the next two weeks
“We are looking at every option we can,” Stephens said.
Tempering the discussion, Deputy Judge Andrew Powell stated, even if the county got the ok to remodel the jail, it would still take time and money to make it functional again.
“There is a misconception that we can just open the jail,” Powell said. “We can’t. It was closed.”
He said the Department of Corrections would have to approve and oversee any remodeling that would have to take place to bring the building up to code, noting it could take up to two years to complete.
Powell stated the newer section of the building is in good condition, but the older section of the facility is in bad shape.
He also cautioned about the expense the county would have if they were to work on the jail.
“If we fix the jail, the burden is going to have to be borrowed money,” he said.

Leave a Comment