Metro Corrections director says overflow jail could open again soon
The director of Louisville's jail was grilled by Metro Council on Wednesday night over everything from overcrowding to staffing shortages.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The director of Louisville's jail was grilled by Metro Council on Wednesday night over everything from overcrowding to staffing shortages.
Mark Bolton spoke to the Metro Council Budget Committee for nearly two hours, addressing questions about how the $51.5 million proposed budget will be used to address the department's biggest problems.
“I’m happy that we’re getting 15 additional corrections officer positions, three additional records positions, a substance abuse coordinator, an open records person, as well as another master level senior social worker,” Bolton said.
The corrections union president Tracy Dotson said staffing levels are falling short and that some employees are being required to work 30 to 40 hours of mandatory overtime per week.
“Fifteen new positions: That’s a drop in the bucket compared to what we need, and the director said he asked for 37," Dotson said. "Thirty-seven wasn’t enough."
Bolton recently closed the jail overflow above LMPD but said the rundown facility may not be closed forever.
“Once our population hits a certain number, I have to make a decision what’s in the best interest of staff and inmate safety,and I’ll open that facility when I need to," Bolton said. "And I think we’re getting pretty close again."
Bolton told the committee that his department is detoxing between 50 and 130 inmates on any given day, putting a strain on resources.
“We book 31,000 people, 32,000 people, and we’re detoxing 10,000 people," he said. "So yeah, it’s significant."
Dotson said Bolton’s explanation of how the budget will be used does not adequately address the problem.
“I would like to hear more about the safety and security of the officers that bleeds over into safety and security of the inmates more than I would like to hear fluff about detoxing and programs,” Dotson said.
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