As Bowling Green continues to grow as the third-largest city in Kentucky, the need for more infrastructure, housing and other necessities grow.
Our city has changed significantly over the last several decades, going from a once sort of sleepy town surrounded by corn and soybean fields as far as the eye can see to now one of continued development. This development is necessary for the influx of people that continue to come into our city each year.
When we think of development – and the new houses and subdivisions and new businesses that come with this growth – one place that doesn’t immediately come to mind, but should, is the Warren County Regional Jail. With more growth unfortunately comes more crime, which means our jail is taking in more and more people.
A surprise inspection by the Kentucky Department of Corrections found that overcrowding at the jail continues to be an issue. On Nov. 1, Warren County Jailer Stephen Harmon presented the DOC inspection report to Warren Fiscal Court, and it showed overcrowding as the only item of noncompliance.
The jail was housing 822 inmates Sept. 4, the day the inspection was conducted. Harmon said the jail has a total of 562 beds, meaning many inmates are in portable bunks or mattresses on the floor.
These numbers show that a real problem exists within the jail in regard to overcrowding and that a solution is needed to correct it so all inmates have a bed to sleep on.
Harmon said the jail hasn’t added any bed space in 20 years and that it was time to examine the overcrowding. He also indicated that jail officials are going to study it and find the most cost-effective way to do it. Presumably a recommendation will come out of the process.
It’s quite obvious that more space is needed at the Warren County Regional Jail.
We commend Harmon for bringing this to fiscal court’s attention and hope that in the near future a study comes back that is cost efficient and is approved so extra space can be added to the existing jail to deal with the overcrowding issue.