LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP/WDRB) -- Inmates housed in an aging lockup flooded a Kentucky police chief's office with sewage by flushing jumpsuits and shredded bedding down the toilets.

A week after the wastewater overflow, more repairs are needed before Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad can use his office again. Police spokeswoman Jessie Halladay tells news outlets he's using another workspace in the meantime.

The June 5 flooding was revealed during a Metro Council budget hearing Monday.

The inmates were in a 1950s-era lockup above police headquarters that was initially closed a decade ago because it didn't meet safety standards. But more recently, jail officials moved in about 35 security prisoners because the main jail is overcrowded. Those inmates have since been moved and replaced with other minimum security inmates.

Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton said the overflow jail has 126 beds. He only opens up the space whenever the main jail population tops 2,050 inmates. The jail has a maximum capacity of nearly 1,800 inmates.

"Trust me," Bolton said. "We want to close it down. I don't like having to activate that housing unit."

The director also said he does not believe the inmates clogged the toilets on purpose to send a message about poor conditions.

"Was it preventable? Probably not," Bolton said. "It's a fairly common practice in this business where inmates will flush contraband and articles of clothing down the toilet."

Bolton said a requirement for inmates to be transferred to the overflow jail is that they are considered minimum custody. Bolton said they are the best behaved inmates on paper, but he also expressed that you never know when someone will act out.

"One of the factors relied on to classify an inmate as a minimum custody includes not having a history of disruptive behavior. Minimum custody inmates considered low risk offenders. Obviously you can't always predict what future behavior is going to be. Someone in this core group acted out, we don't know exactly who it was but we moved the entire group out of there," said Steve Durham, Assistant Director for Louisville Metro Corrections, in a released statement.

Jail inmates staying in the area affected by the flooding have been moved to other facilities.

Durham says crowded conditions have contributed to problems at the jail because of overuse. Durham also said that within 24 hours of the jumpsuits and bedding being flushed, a leaky pipe also caused water to flow into LMPD Headquarters. The leak was not related to the flushing of the jumpsuits and bedding.


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