New Laurel County Correctional Center officially opens
More than two years of planning and work officially wrapped up Saturday night as the 500 inmates at the Laurel County Correctional Center were transported to the new $25 million facility.
The new single-story facility is located on Hammock Road in the Fariston community between London and Lily.
“It has been relatively smooth,” said Jailer Jamie Mosley.
“We are still working through the bugs and small maintenance issues,” he said.
Mosley said the $25 million cost is approximately $10 million less than the original estimate.
A portion of that savings came from having work release inmates doing a portion of the work, including weekly site cleanup, painting and epoxy coating the showers.
In addition to housing the inmates, Mosley said the new facility provides space for more inmate vocational training, and court-ordered substance abuse programs.
“We also have more room for faith-based programs,” Mosley said, noting there are a large number of faith-based organizations that wish to volunteer to help the inmates.
The new facility is currently housing both male and female inmates. However, Mosley said that would change within the next 30 to 45 days.
Plans are to perform maintenance work at the old jail such as paint and resurfacing. Once that is completed, the female inmates will be transferred there.
“Everything is functioning there,” Mosley said of the old jail, noting that inmates can perform the necessary work.
Mosley said moving the females to the old jail is not a space issue, noting the new facility can accommodate 668 inmates.
Adding the 300 beds available at the old facility gives Laurel County more than 900 beds.
“After this week, we will start adding some inmates from the Marshals service in Tennessee,” Mosley said.
While Laurel County has previously had agreements with nearby counties, such as McCreary County, to house its inmates, Mosley said no such agreements are currently in place
“We do, on occasion, take an inmate from another county based on circumstances that preclude that inmate from remaining at that facility, but nothing on a broad scale,” Mosley said.
Mosley said if the need arises, there is space available at the new facility that may be used to house additional inmates.
While the facility has not added additional employees, Mosley said there is significant turnover in the entry level positions.
“We are always looking for people,” Mosley said.