Inmates who are shipped to other counties have already had their days in court and are serving sentences of 15 days or more, Sallee said.
Families and friends of inmates who have been relocated will have to travel out of county to visit or pick up the inmate upon release.
“They’re all being released down there, and people have to find rides back to Jessamine,” Sallee said.
While the issue of overcrowded jails in the commonwealth isn’t new, the Jessamine County Detention Center is unique because of its population, Sallee said.
In other county jails, a large portion of inmates are state inmates or inmates from other counties, Sallee said.
“You go to the other counties that have the big jails and 90 percent of their inmates are state inmates or inmates from other counties, which they generate revenue off of; they may have 20 of their own,” he said. “Jessamine County has the complete opposite problem. We’re holding 160 plus 20 or 30 that were in Casey County, so we’re holding close to 200 inmates, and 20 of those may be state inmates.”
Currently, Jessamine County is paying $100,000 per year to other counties to house its inmates.
Jail expansion or new facility
Sallee said sooner or later, the state and county are going to have to either expand the current jail or build another facility.
“We need to build big enough now to house for a certain amount down the road, and on top of that be able to bring inmates in to create revenue,” Sallee said. “We also need to design the facility that we can easily make additions on.”
The jail committee, which consists of Sallee, Jessamine County Judge-Executive Neal Cassity and Magistrate Tim Vaughan, will be meeting to discuss the issue in the near future.
“I hope to have the shovel in the ground by the first of next year, if at all possible,” Sallee said. “That's moving as hard as we can forward. That’s not totally up to me. There’s a jail committee that consists of a magistrate and the judge-executive and myself that will make the decision.”
Sallee said unlike the rest of the counties, the state department of corrections has given Jessamine County a green light on an expansion or new facility. But in the meantime, Jessamine jail officials will continue to ship inmates to other counties to make sure the facility is in compliance with the state.