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This Week In Conversation: Alleviating Overcrowding And Other Problems In Louisville's Jail

Prison cell bars
Prison cell bars

Listen to the episode:

Why does Louisville have so many fish fries?

Last month, Louisville Metro Department of Corrections Director Mark Boltonannounced that he’s retiring after 11 years on the job.

Bolton has worked in the corrections industry for about 40 years and helped drive programs such as Familiar Faces Action and Community Transition to help former Louisville inmates avoid returning to jail. He has also implemented programs in response to the opioid epidemic, which has essentially made Metro Corrections one of the largest detox facilities in the region.

Jail overcrowding is a problem across the United States, with one in five jails working at or above their bed capacity in 2017, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. And in Kentucky, a growing prison population has spilled over into local facilities, as jails across the state take on an overflow of state inmates. And this overcrowding can be a key contributing factor in poor prison conditions, according to Penal Reform International, an independent, non-governmental organization.

In part to address these overcrowding issues, some nonprofit organizations like the Bail Project are working to help defendants who can’t afford bail get out of jail while their cases are pending.  The organization launched in Louisville last year, and hasposted bond for hundreds of clients.

This week on In Conversation, we’ll discuss these and other issues affecting jails, their staff and jail inmates. Our guests will include:

  • Louisville Metro Department of Corrections Director Mark Bolton
  • Louisville Bail Project Site Manager Shameka Parrish-Wright

Listen to In Conversation live on 89.3 WFPL Friday at 11 a.m. or follow along with our live tweets at @WFPLnews. Call with your questions or comments at 502-814-TALK or tweet us with the hashtag #WFPLconversation. We’re also on Facebook.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.

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