Inmates help build new jail with a fresh start in mind

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LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - In Laurel County, the new jail is reaching its final days of construction. To cut down on costs and provide vocational training, workers are involving inmates in the building process.

Jailer Jamie Mosley says not only are they helping taxpayers save money, but they are also helping their inmates gain the tools to make a fresh start.

"Well I'm learning new trades," Kendall Browning said. "Scotty's teaching us how to do these bathrooms. We're just trying to get the jail ready."

There is no need for additional outside contractors. Mosley says inmates contribute to weekly cleanup, painting, and epoxy coating showers found in the 75 10-person cells.

"We expect that alone with the cleanup will save us an excess of over a half million dollars," he said.

Utilizing inmate labor and the work release program means credit is coming back to this nearly $25 million project.

Browning and Scotty Hensley both say they see job opportunities in their future and are grateful for a second chance.

"It's been a learning experience for me," Hensley said. "I know that I made a lot of bad choices and I've learned from it."

Mosley says this project is about much more than just cutting costs for the county and the jail.

"We want to use their time with us as the best opportunity to turn their life around and equip them with some tools so we can help people help themselves," he said.

"It's going to be a good feeling knowing that we helped our community and this will be something that's here forever. So we can always say, you know, 'I did that,'" Browning said.

"I hope I never see it again," Hensley laughed.

Workers expect the jail to be completed by late summer or early fall.

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