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Individuals Who Have Not Yet Been Tried Risk Facing COVID -19 In County Jail System

More than 300 Kentuckians convicted of crimes are now home while others accused of crimes remain in jail because they can’t post bail. 

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear commuted the sentence of 352 inmates to prevent the spread of coronavirus on April 27. However, according to Christian County Chief Deputy Steve Howard, there are currently individuals housed in the county jail because they don’t have the money to post bail. 

These inmates have not faced trial yet and are being held in the jail without having been convicted, despite the increased risk of COVID-19 infection in facilities. Howard said he believes other jails in the region are following this same protocol. 

The jail has suspended all outside contacts including G.E.D. classes. Inmates may still meet with their attorneys in person through glass spacers or Skype chats.

“We're not allowing any of the arresting officers to come into the facility and attorneys have to visit via Skype. They can actually come to the jail, but they have to visit their clients through the glass so there's no contact,” Howard said. “We've also suspended all of our internal classes that we have like the G.E.D. (General Educational Development) and the M.R.T. (Moral Reconation Therapy).”.

According to Howard, there have been minimal complaints from the public on visitation guidelines. He says he believes most people understand the jail is trying their best to protect the inmates.



Hannah is a Murray State Journalism major. She found her place in radio during her second year in Murray. She is from Herndon, KY, a small farming community on the Kentucky/Tennessee stateline.
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