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Final jail report released

It’s here: The final report on a comprehensive study of the Boyle County Detention Center and the criminal justice system around it in Boyle and Mercer counties was presented to officials Friday afternoon.

The report’s 13 chapters and six appendices weigh in at 349 pages. Boyle and Mercer counties contracted with Brandstetter Carroll in 2017 to complete a thorough assessment of the aging and overcrowded jail and offer recommendations on renovation and/or expansion of the existing facility; or building a new facility. The counties are paying $75,000 for the study.

Eric Chambers, a consultant with Brandstetter Carroll, said chapter 10 of the study lays out three options for the two counties: one is renovation and expansion of the existing jail; one is building a new, 450-bed jail; and one is building a standalone treatment facility.

The treatment facility would provide three phases of services: There would be a “detox” phase; a treatment and recovery phase and a final phase where people could learn job skills and prepare for reintegration into the community.

“This would be something that could be used as an alternative to incarceration, but it’s also something the general public could have access to,” Chambers said, explaining that someone with an addiction problem could pay or have insurance pay to participate in the services offered.

Members of the counties’ Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, each county fiscal court and newly elected officials are all being provided with hard copies of the report; a digital version was posted on Boyle County’s website (boyleky.com) Friday afternoon.

“I think there’s a lot of reading that has to be done and a lot of information that has to be processed,” Chambers said.

The Boyle-Mercer Joint Jail Committee has decided to hold a public meeting for Brandstetter Carroll to present the report’s findings and recommendations and take questions from the public at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29 (location to be determined).

“It needs to be exposed to the public pretty quickly in my estimation,” Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney said.

SO YOU KNOW

The full report from Brandstetter Carroll on the Boyle County Detention Center is available on Boyle County’s website, boyleky.com, or by visiting bit.ly/DetentionCenterStudy. Watch The Advocate-Messenger for more stories about what the report says in the coming days and weeks.