Madison County jail getting another backup to help prevent overcrowding

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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Covid-19 pandemic has a central Kentucky jail, plagued by chronic overcrowding, turning to another source to help keep its inmate population down.

The Madison County Fiscal Court approved an agreement with Leslie County to accept inmates from the Madison County Detention Center at a cost of $35 a day per inmate.

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According to Madison County Fiscal Court, Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor, Madison County jailer Steve Tussey asked the court to approve the agreement because of Covid-19 quarantine protocols.

Taylor explained that new inmates coming into the jail need to be quarantined to prevent the possible spread of Covid-19 and, in order to stay in compliance, the jail can’t have more than 300 inmates.

Madison County also has agreements with Casey County and Clark County to take inmates but, as Taylor explained, a backup was needed because those counties are also required to comply with Covid-19 protocols and may not be able to take Madison County inmates.

The Madison County Detention Center is often cited as an example of the overpopulation problem in county jails. The facility, which only has 184 beds, typically houses more than 300 inmates. Plans to expand the current facility or build a larger jail have faced opposition from some county officials and residents.