Bill Hensley

New Boyd County Jailer William Hensley has implemented numerous reforms at the detention center since taking office in late 2018. Kevin Goldy | The Daily Independent.

CATLETTSBURG An upcoming jail work program will allow those in Boyd County with low level offenses to complete community service in place of serving time at the detention center.

Boyd County Jailer Bill Hensley said the intent of the program is to reduce the jail's inmate population while also giving individuals the opportunity to form a solid worth ethic and the chance to give back to their community.

“The jail in the county has been battling the overcrowded situation and the finances and everything and I just see this as a really great other opportunity,” he said.

Hensley said county judges and attorneys will be working hand-in-hand on the program, noting it is up to the judges to decide if an individual is eligible for the program and to ensure they are being correctly punished for their violations. He pointed out many of these violations will be misdemeanor charges.

“We have some really great judges in Boyd County who's willing to put in the extra time and work to make this succeed,” he said.

Once a judge has decided on a sentence Hensley said it is up to the jail to monitor the judge's wishes. He said he plans to increase jail staffing by one to create a supervisor position to oversee the program.

Hensley said those in the program will be closely monitored to ensure they are completing their tasks, which will include work on county and nonprofit property. He noted no work will be done on private property.

“If they don't show up to work or they're intoxicated, they don't follow the orders set forth by the judge … then they would immediately be taken into custody and placed into detention,” he said.

Hensley said he hopes to have everything on the jail's side in place for the program by July 1.

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