Social activists bemoan Oldham County jail fundraiser
The Oldham County jail is set to host around 100 people on Friday as part of a fundraiser, but some social activists say it sends the wrong message.
LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- The Oldham County jail is set to host around 100 people on Friday as part of a fundraiser, but some social activists say it sends the wrong message.
Jailer Mike Simpson says hosting civilians who have not been arrested for one night before the jail opens has been an idea he's had for over a year.
"I came up with this idea as a training exercise for my staff," Simpson said. "Prior to us opening up our facility, it gives us the opportunity to get through every work station, process people in."
However, several Louisville social justice organizations have teamed up in the hopes of preventing the event from happening.
"Mass incarceration is not a funny matter," said Carla F. Wallace of Louisville Showing Up for Racial Justice. "As the country with more prisoners than any on Earth, disproportionately people of color and poor people, and immigrant people, we should not make light of it with events that make light of imprisonment with no regard for the realities of the impact of incarceration."
As part of the event, all proceeds are being donated to various charitable organizations in Oldham County.
It's not the first time critics of the jail have come forward. In December, a small group protested the opening of the jail, fearing it will partner with immigration services and increase deportations.
"They are helping out the county jail to make sure it's running correctly to incarcerate individuals, primarily black and brown individuals," said Jesus Ibanez of Louisville Mijente.
Meanwhile, Simpson says it's not surprising to hear the criticism.
"(I) wasn't totally surprised because on any particular issue, you're always going to have people that aren't going to agree," he said.
The total cost of the jail, which has a capacity of 330 inmates, was around $23 million. Jail staff will transfer inmates from the old jail to the new one in about two weeks.
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