Fayette County releases inmates; from liquor stores to vets, Beshear answers questions

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – As is usually the case, Gov. Andy Beshear gets questions on a wide variety of topics during his daily briefings.

The questions cover just about every angle on the spread of the coronavirus disease, touching on everything from why liquor stores are staying open to what veterinarians and pet groomers should do under new closure orders.

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Among the questions asked were about potentially releasing some low-risk inmates from jails. That comes as Fayette County District Court released 48 non-felon, low risk, non-violent inmates from the jail to make it safer for the remaining inmates and Corrections Officers in light of the COVID-19 virus.

Some of these inmates are age 60 or above and have pre-existing health conditions, which may make them more susceptible to COVID-19, city leaders explained.

Others have fewer than 45 days left in their court-mandated sentences.



The releases began last Friday and continued through Wednesday.

The city worked with the Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts and Fayette District Court Judges to clear the inmates for release. Currently, there are 1,102 inmates in the jail, down from its peak of 1,565.

“It’s important to us to make the jail as safe as we can,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “One obvious step was to selectively reduce the number of inmates.”

These 48 individuals were in jail on non-violent misdemeanor charges of various types, including non-payment of fines, Failure to appear and disorderly conduct.

Electronic Monitoring Devices are being used when appropriate.

On March 10, Gorton closed the facility to visitors, another attempt to improve the safety of the facility.