Metro Council committee debating solutions to problems plaguing Metro Corrections
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Metro Council Jail Policy Committee is brainstorming how to fix the myriad of issues plaguing Metro Corrections.
The jail in downtown Louisville has seen numerous problems in the last few years, most centered around overcrowding and safety concerns. Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton said they need to reduce the number of non-violent inmates in jail.
"This jail is stuffed to the rafters right now," Bolton said. "We've got to look at other ways to hold people accountable rather than just using the easy button and the jail for everything."
A possible solution, Bolton said, is bail reform. Hundreds of inmates sit in jail on low-level, non-violent charges because they can't afford bail.
"We have people coming in here on warrants for not having a bicycle light," he said.
The hope is to find a way to release low-level, non-violent inmates faster, freeing up space for violent offenders.
"What we're basically doing is trying to come to a consensus on who needs to be in the jail and who doesn't," said Tracy Dotson, President of the Metro Corrections FOP.
Dotson added that running the overflow jail above LMPD Headquarters costs about $3 million each year.
"The facilities over there that inmates need for humane conditions are not up to par," he said.
It flooded a few weeks ago, forcing inmates to shove clothing into a toilet. A day later, a water pipe burst. Judge Sean Delahanty asked Tuesday when it would be shut down for good.
Bolton: "I'll shut it down, judge, when it's safe to do so."
Delahanty: "Well, if it's unsafe to house them, and they have all of these issues, flooding the chief's office and water pipes busting and whatever else, when is it just going to be closed down? Because it's just condemnable."
Bolton said until he can find more space, he *has to use it.
"Jail is not meant to be comfortable," he said. "But jails have to be constitutional."
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