LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jail Policy Committee met Tuesday to discuss problems at Metro Corrections and brainstorm possible solutions.
Metro Corrections director Mark Bolton said overcrowding is a serious concern. He said the number of inmates has been trending upward since April 2016.
As of Monday, Metro Corrections housed nearly 2,300 inmates with only 1,800 beds.
Bolton said inmates are staying for longer periods of time, and that is contributing to the overcrowding. Five years ago, the average stay was 16 days. Last year, the average was 23 days.
“Length of stay drives population,” Bolton said. “[It] drives average daily population.”
The committee also discussed the amount of state inmates being housed on behalf of the Kentucky Department of Corrections. The average number of state inmates in Metro Corrections on any given day so far this year is 447. The average four years ago was 159.
"Police keep on rolling up,” Bolton said. “Every time they roll up, I'm going to take them. And if I have to put 4,000 inmates in this place, I'm going to take them."
A third concern, Bolton said, is how many inmates detox at the jail. In 2012, nearly 3,000 inmates detoxed at Metro Corrections. Last year, that jumped to nearly 10,000. Over 60 percent of those were detoxing from opiates.
No concrete solutions came from the meeting, but committee members were invited to tour the jail on Thursday to continue the discussion.
"This is not a jail problem,” Bolton said. “This is a problem for all the people in Louisville, all the criminal justice partners in Louisville. It's time to bring people together, and it's time to really be working on some substantive change."
Below are two graphs showing the amount of inmates detoxing at Metro Corrections and the number of state inmates housed there:
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