Popular reality show making Clark County Jail a less-popular pla - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Popular reality show making Clark County Jail a less-popular place to be

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Clark County Jail has made for reality TV-show gold on A&E's "60 Days In."

There's drama you just can't make up, drama the Clark County Sheriff couldn't ignore.

"Some of the stuff I'm not proud of, but everything you do see, we've learned from it," Sheriff Jamey Noel said. "We've changed to fix, to make things better."

At this time last year, the jail was over capacity, housing 540 inmates. 

Today, the total inmate count comes to 438. 

Sheriff Noel says the reality show helped bring a lot of things to light.

"Early on in 2015, they were getting street-level drugs cheaper in jail than they were getting out on the street."

Last year, Sheriff Noel found out there were 50 inmates who could have paid their bond, but chose not to, because they WANTED to stay in jail to get cheap drugs. 

Noel says that's no longer the case. 

"I want to run a fair but firm jail but it's not a country club," he said. "They're not going to lay in this jail, strung out on drugs."

Equally as important, inmates are also benefiting from rehab programs like Narcotics Anonymous and GED education while in custody.  

But Sheriff Noel says there's one weapon that could all but wipe out the jail drug problem ... a body scanner. 

"It's something similar than what you see at an airport."

There are still people trying to sneak in drugs through body cavities, but a scanner costs around $120,000.

So the Sheriff's Department took to selling T-shirts and tater-tots during Thunder Over Louisville to raise the cash. 

Thunder is also where the Sheriff got some of his best feedback -- a sign that a reality show could be helping to create a new reality for Clark County. 

"I'm surprised at how many former residents at the Clark County Jail and former addicts that walked up and said the staff and you are doing a good job there of changing the environment," Sheriff Noel said of the feedback at Thunder.

The Sheriff's Office raised $5,000 during Thunder. 

Noel has already ordered another round of T-shirts to sell to continue to raise money for a body scanner. 

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