Prison overcrowding across Kentucky trickling down to Metro Corrections
WDRB News has learned, despite the convictions, several hundred felons are not sent to prison once they leave the courtroom.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Metro Corrections is currently holding more than 400 inmates who have been convicted and sentenced to time in prison.
And the prison overcrowding across the state of Kentucky has led to overcrowding at Metro Corrections. Earlier this month, for example, Christopher Winstead was sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder and kidnapping.
His victim's family is still grieving, but they're looking forward to Winstead going to prison for a long time. But for now, Winstead is still locked up at Metro Corrections.
"We have no control over that," said Mark Bolton, Director of Metro Corrections.
Bolton said after an inmate is sentenced, the Department of Corrections has 45 days to move them. Winstead is still in that window, however, that is not always the case.
"We have some individuals in custody here that have been here for almost a year beyond that 45 days threshold," Bolton said.
Metro Corrections has 1,793 beds, but Bolton said the delays often lead to overcrowding at the jail.
"Today, we are running about 2,200 inmates, so that's 400 over capacity," he said.
With so many extra inmates, the jail started more than a year ago looking at other housing options. One option was the top of Metro Police headquarters.
"We've been putting inmates above police headquarters for about 20 months, and it's not because I wanted to," Bolton said. "It's because we had to."
Despite the overcrowding issues, Bolton said the jail is in good hands, and the proof is in the accreditation from the prestigious American Correctional Association and the experience of his senior staff.
"We have about 170 years of experience in this business," he said. "I'll take this team over anyone in the country, and we're doing one hell of a job."
Bolton said his staff is working on a solution with the Department of Corrections, and if it doesn't happen soon, he's even prepared to take legal action.
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