UPDATE | 98 needles found on murder defendant inside Metro Corrections
Jail Spokesman Steve Durham said if the needles had "been in a body cavity," they would have been detected by the jail's body scanner. The inmate was Devonta Anderson, who is charged with murder.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Metro Corrections is investigating how 98 needles made it past security and inside the jail.
Steve Durham, a jail spokesman, confirmed that a Louisville Metro Police canine unit found the 25-gauge medical needles inside an inmate's property. The needles were not part of the inventory of the contract medical provider for the jail.
Durham said if the needles had "been in a body cavity," they would have been detected by the jail's body scanner. The inmate was Devonta Anderson, who is charged with murder.
After the discovery on Feb. 27, jail officers ordered all inmates housed with Anderson to be sent through the body scanner again, according to internal jail records obtained by WDRB News.
Metro Council David James, D-6th District, who recently prompted a city audit of the jail, said news of the needles "found inside the jail tells me we have a major problem with the jail and it also tells me that we're not doing enough to keep the contraband out of the jail."
James questioned whether an employee of the jail was responsible for bringing the needles in.
"The staff of the corrections facility, they don't go through any body scanners or any searches when they go into the jail, so it's a good possibility that someone who either works for, or volunteers for, or is contracted with the jail actually brought that material in," James told WDRB in an interview.
Several inmates have overdosed in the jail in recent weeks.
Four men overdosed inside Metro Corrections on Feb. 28, hours before Director Mark Bolton testified before a Metro Council committee.
On Feb. 8, six inmates were “obviously under the influence of narcotics” inside a jail dorm, with two being given a medication used to reverse the effects of an overdose and three taken to the hospital, according to an internal summary of the events obtained by WDRB News.
Bolton has twice been called before Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee to discuss issues with drugs in jail and well as mistaken inmate released.
“We have criminals out there that are probably getting arrested for no other reason than to bring contraband into the jail,” Bolton said last week.
Bolton blames most of the issues on overcrowding. The jail is currently running at 128 percent capacity, but city leaders says its more than that.
"Part of it has to do with overcrowding," Metro Councilman David James said. "Part of it has to do with management."
As far as contraband goes, Bolton says most items, but not all, are caught by a body scanner.
"It is a huge problem in this business," Bolton said. "Most of the jails, all but three, don't even have a body scanner in the state of Kentucky."
But James pushed Bolton to find out if officers are formally reviewed when using the scanner.
James: "It was a yes or no question."
Bolton: "I get that."
James: "So the answer is no?"
Bolton: "The answer is no."
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