State closes Bell County jail due to safety hazards

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Graphic courtesy: MGN Online

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) announced the Bell County Detention Center is being forced to close due to continued failure to comply with safety guidelines.

The department says the jail has not fixed its smoke evacuation system, which puts inmates at risk in the event of a fire.

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Officials say an initial order directed the jail to close by December 1, 2019, but the state extended the deadline to January 30, 2020, after it says the jail made minimal progress to correct the violations.

The state says the jail has yet to completely fix the smoke evacuation system.

The DOC says the Bell County Detention Center must have all its inmates relocated by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.