Louisville Opens Unsafe Jail to Deal With Overcrowding

August 21, 2013

Louisville has reopened a 60-year-old jail above the police department to house 72 inmates even though officials acknowledge the facility lacks a fire safety system and isn’t safe.

The 1950s-era Kentucky jail has failed to meet certification requirements for decades. Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton told The Courier-Journal he hopes reopening the facility is a short-term fix for overcrowding at other buildings.

The old jail will house 72 inmates. Bolton said there were 2,071 inmates in his system, above a 1,900-inmate limit suggested by a commission. Once Metro Corrections hits 2,050 inmates for three days straight, the old jail reopens.

Jefferson District Court Judge Sean Delahanty called reopening the old jail “ridiculous” and said the city needs to build a new jail or find a different approach to prosecuting cases.

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