Groundbreaking scheduled for new Knox County jail

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT)- Knox County will have a new jail in a couple of years.

According to Knox County Jailer, Mary Hammons, the process for getting the new facility has been long but much needed.

The new jail will be located on Highway 225 in Barbourville.

Hammons said it will hold around 338 inmates compared to the current facility, which is only meant to hold around 35 inmates. Hammons said she is currently housing around 100 inmates.

"There are about 224 county inmates that I should be housing,” said Hammons. “Because my jail is so small, I'm holding 100 right now mainly because other jails in the area are also crowded...overcrowded and they can't take any more inmates."

Hammons said the new facility will help the county financially. The jail currently has to send inmates to other counties, which costs Knox County money every day.

"We pay payments to all of these county jails for our county inmates for the time that they're there,” said Hammons. “So it's almost $30 a day per inmate, so it costs the county a lot of money to house in these other counties."

She also tells WYMT that the new jail will allow them to offer and expand programs for the inmates.

Work has already begun at the location for the new jail. Hammons said it is unclear when the facility will officially be finished.

An official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for September 20th at 10 a.m.

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