New Boyd Jailer starts work at troubled detention center

New Jailer Bill Hensley was sworn in Monday after embattled former Jailer Joe Burchett's resignation. (WCHS/WVAH)

A riot, overdoses, escapes, and inmate deaths have all happened within the walls of the Boyd County Detention Center leaving former inmates like Christopher Kingsbury, who spent two and a half months inside, as concerned as the Catlettsburg community around them.

“It’s no fun,” Kingsbury said.

He said drug do get inside, though not often, and the jail is overcrowded.

“Whenever you’ve got that many people tempers flare up,” Kingsbury said, “people are aggravated already because they’re in there.”

Other inmates who didn’t want to be identified said the jail has a reputation has a place they either want to come for the chance of an easy escape, or that they don’t want to go to because of dangerous drug activity.

State Police have been investigating two recent deaths: Michael L. Moore, 40, died Thursday where an autopsy wasn’t able to rule out a criminal cause, and Charles Shaun Finley, 36, died Sunday of an apparent fentanyl overdose.

In that case, State Police said they’re investigating the multiple ways drugs have entered the jail before to determine how the fentanyl got inside.

New Jailer, Bill Hensley, has been forced to scramble to fill former Jailer Joe Burchett’s shoes after Burchett resigned Monday.

“Identifying what I can identify as the major problems,” Hensley said, “the main thing is making everyone safe.”

He said he plans for extra guard training, buying a full body scanner to detect contraband, and has already hired retired Ashland Police Investigator Darren Wilson to conduct thorough internal investigations.

“The only way to change that perception is to show, through hard work and hard effort, that what we’re talking about isn’t just spin.”

Hensley said he would leave this weekend for Kentucky Jailer’s Association training.

Most Jailers complete this training before they take office following their election.

Before Burchett’s resignation, Hensley was scheduled to take office early next year.

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