Grant County To Keep Troubled Jail Open

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Grant County Detention Center

R.G. Dunlop / KyCIR

Grant County Detention Center

Grant county officials have decided to keep its troubled jail open, abandoning a months-old plan to shutter the facility.

Last week, the Grant County Fiscal Court rescinded a July resolution to close the jail. Officials claimed it’s more costly to close the 280-bed jail than keep it open, according to the Grant County News.

Officials reached out to nearby counties and explored the possibility of housing inmates elsewhere, but couldn’t find an inexpensive option, the newspaper reported.

The Grant County Detention Center has been in dire financial straits and plagued for years by abuse, indifference, ineptitude and malfeasance.

A KyCIR investigation last October found:

Inmates have died needlessly, been raped, abused and neglected. Lax security, flawed medical care, inadequate training and a raft of other administrative failures flourished. In an effort to cover up misconduct, some jail employees concocted bogus stories, ordered others to lie or destroyed incriminating evidence.

This litany of failures has occurred largely under the watch of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Kentucky Department of Corrections and Grant County government. All of them, despite red flag after red flag, have been unwilling or unable to achieve lasting change at the jail.

A month later, the state auditor revealed a raft of administrative issues at the facility and forwarded his findings to the attorney general’s office for further investigation.

Meanwhile, the former jailer remains at the center of numerous lawsuits and under investigation by Kentucky State Police.

Grant County

Grant County

The U.S. Department of Justice’s decade-old investigation into the jail remains open.

The DOJ has issued several assessments of the jail since 2009. The agency found serious deficiencies in the level and quality of medical and mental health care provided to inmates.

The DOJ’s June 2015 report concluded that inmates remain at “risk of serious harm” due to the county’s persistent failure to meet “minimum constitutional standards” for care.
County officials are scheduled to discuss the future of the jail in an Oct. 17 meeting, according to the Grant County News. (Read KyCIR’s coverage of the Grant County jail)

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