The Boyle County Detention Center had 397 inmates on Monday, Feb. 6. That’s 170 more than it was designed to house.
“This is a record,” said Boyle County Jailer Barry Harmon.
What concerns Harmon and other prison officials is that February is usually a slow month for the jail. The population numbers typically don’t start to increase until March, said Mercer County Attorney Ted Dean.
“Typically there’s a lull in the winter,” said Dean, who is also a member of the joint jail committee which oversees jail operations. “This winter we’ve not had that population drop.”
In April 2016, the Kentucky Department of Corrections cited the jail for being overcrowded. At the time, the jail’s population was only 310.
Dean said in his six years as a prosecutor he’s never seen overcrowding as bad as it is this year. He has asked local law enforcement officers to use their discretion and issue citations instead of taking nonviolent offenders into custody.
“There is a fixed amount of people the facility can hold,” Dean said.
Find out more in this week’s The Harrodsburg Herald.