Inmates build beds, resumes: ‘Build-a-Bed’ project helps Pike County families in need

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:14 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - The Pike County Detention Center is focused on building. Building a future for each inmate housed at the facility, while also building a good night’s sleep for kids in Pike County.

A new project, the “Build-a-Bed” project, allows inmates to spend time outside of the detention center, working to create beds for families who could use them most.

“Several years ago, we started making mattresses at the Pike County Detention Center. And that’s kind of what we got together and thought of. “What could we add with the mattresses to help people?” And it was the build-a-bed project,” said Jailer Brian Morris. “Well, I teamed up with the Pike County School Board. I met with Reed Adkins several months ago about what families or kids that may need ‘em.”

Adkins, Pike County Schools Superintendent, was on board quickly and after a pandemic delay, the project kicked off earlier this year. The supervised builds work like an assembly line, as the men take lumber and turn it into something that will last.

“They work hard, they get it done. They work with each other. Without each other, it couldn’t be done. One person can’t do this job,” said Deputy Jailer Johnny Cooper.

While the project is good for the families in need, Morris said it is also good for the inmates.

“It gets the inmate out of the building. It gets him working with his hands. It gives him a skill set,” said Morris. “Gives the inmates the ability to learn a little bit about responsibility, about teamwork, about structure.”

The men have already completed 50 beds, which will be paired with 50 mattresses also made by inmates, and then delivered to families in the county. The first of those deliveries expected to happen this week.

Morris said the importance of helping the men find a purpose and get real-world skills under their belts before re-entering the community can not be overstated. But, he said, this arrangement is multi-faceted.

“It’s just a win-win for every individual involved,” Morris said.

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