CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (WCHS/WVAH) — Bus loads of inmates will be leaving the Boyd County Detention Center in Kentucky but, unlike before, they won’t be escaping or accidentally being released.
New Boyd County Jailer Bill Hensley shipped 15 inmates out of the jail Thursday, and will send another 34 out Friday.
Totaling 49, Hensley said they will be heading to other jails all over Kentucky.
“This is a temporary thing,” Hensley said.
He said the lack of high level state offenders would provide adequate time for his staff to train avoiding problems that plagued previous leadership like a riot, escapes, accidental releases, overdoses and deaths.
“I always told them I would give them the tools and the ability to succeed at the task I gave them,” Hensley said.
Two former Boyd County jail workers, Mike and Cindy Pence, have lived a block from the jail for years and said a training break would have been welcomed during their combined five year tenures.
“There’s nothing like hearing there’s overdoses down the road or, by the way, they’ve escaped the jail again,” Mike Pence said, “the changes that are just starting now should have happened a long time ago.”
“It might help with overcrowding,” Cindy added, “help them focus on what’s important and get their training in.”
The changes will come at a cost, Hensley said, as the state pays county jails to house state inmates.
“It’s not coming out of the budget,” he said, “it’s just money that won’t come in for a period of time.”
Though he didn’t know the exact cost, Hensley said it would be worth it.
“I don’t think you can put a price on the peace of mind and security of the people in there,” he said.
Hensley was scheduled to begin a week of training himself on Sunday during which an experienced Christian County Deputy Jailer will fill in.
The Kentucky Department of Corrections and Kentucky Association of Counties will give the full staff 20 hours of expert training on December 18th and 19th.
“I’m hoping for a safer environment for me and my family,” Mike Pence said.
Hensley said the staff training and fill-in deputy jailer come with no cost to the county.