Clean house at Fourth and Main

Published 8:09 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dear Editor,

I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or simply be sickened by the pandering coming from our “Joint Jail Committee.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … we DO NOT need jail expansion. The staff at the Boyle County Detention Center have worked miracles. What we need is to clean house at Fourth and Main in Danville, and I have the proof that therein lies the problem.

HDR eluded to it when they spoke to the committee and every defense attorney in the area knows it. The Family Court, District Court, the Circuit Court and each and every prosecuting attorney collectively share the blame for our jail’s overcrowding. They are out of control and you and your loved ones are paying for it.

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At my request, the Administrative office of the Courts (AOC) in Frankfort conducted a research study in every county in Kentucky on a simple comparison of release bonds for persons arrested and placed into our jails. A comparison of the last five years was used as the sample size as this is the time frame when all this has come to issue locally.

AOC looked specifically at numbers of individuals given either non-financial (quick out of jail free cards prior to adjudication) or individuals having financial bonds which would have to be met before they might get out of jail prior to their time in court.

More simply put, which counties let people out of jail such that they might keep jobs, keep families together or try to pick up the pieces and which counties keeps people in jail such that they lose jobs, apartments, cars are repossessed, and family and community relationships are destroyed prior to any guilt or innocence being decided. It is this simple. And these figures don’t lie.

Are you ready for this? Time to wake up Boyle/Mercer counties. Through Kentucky, 37 percent of those arrested have the opportunity to get out of jail with non-financial bonds — FREE. Mercer County allows just 8 percent to bond out without demanding big money. And then there’s Boyle — allowing only 6 percent of cases to bond out without paying up.

So how does this translate to you. Why should you care? How does this affect you personally, directly and absolutely? If the judges and prosecutors in Boyle/Mercer counties provided for non-financial bond opportunities like the entire rest of the area and state already has for the past five years, some 30 percent fewer inmates would be in our local jail on a daily basis.

With an average daily count of 350 inmates (low estimate) in our jail at any given time and at a cost of $30/day per inmate, the daily savings to you and me would be $3,150 … each and every day. Or a yearly savings of $1,149,750. 

Does anyone have any ideas where this money might be utilized? Keeping people in jail has only made things worse. There can’t be any denying this singular fact. Continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the definition of STUPIDITY. This straight from Fourth and Main! More to come.

Roger Hartner