More positive developments unfolded this week at the Boyd County Detention Center.
The first was that the county got its work crew going. Admittedly the new attempt at a work crew is in its infancy but the prospects appear promising.
The program is designed to 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 has said the goal 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. Many of those working on the crews will face misdemeanor charges.
“Hopefully it will reduce the cost of the jail between $300,000 to $600,000 a year with just that program,” Hensley said.
Work is expected to be performed at the county parks and recreation department out of the gate.
The second development is the approval of the purchase of a body scanner at the jail. This is long overdue. Anyone who reads the paper knows drug overdoses inside the jail have been a chronic problem. Inmates have died. Stopping the flow of drugs into the jail is a top priority and we suspect this will go a long ways in deterring the trafficking.
“(This is) another step to reducing drugs coming in and we've been working on it hard and are really excited about them coming in ... we looked at all the different companies and really think this is the top of the line,” Hensley said.
We agree. A great move and this is money well spent.
Sometimes we think the fact that the county is responsible for the well-being of inmates is lost. Everyone wants people punished appropriately for crime but the reality is many inmates housed at the county jail have not been convicted of anything and government agencies responsible for public safety have a moral and legal obligation to look out for those in custody. The county, by providing for adequate conditions for inmates, shows the world that Boyd is a place where the rule of law and human dignity are important. This applies to all of us -- including every human being housed at the jail.
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out there is real leadership unfolding at the Boyd County Detention Center these days. It is a tough job, but the county's residents can sleep a little easier knowing that week by week improvements in what has in the past been a very troubled jail continue to take place.