Oldham County Det. Center opens early for paying visitors to spe - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Oldham County Det. Center opens early for paying visitors to spend night in jail

People who paid to spend the night in jail played games in a cell. (Source: WAVE 3 News) People who paid to spend the night in jail played games in a cell. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The experience came with an outfit, a mugshot and a meal. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The experience came with an outfit, a mugshot and a meal. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Paying inmates pose for a mugshot keepsake. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Paying inmates pose for a mugshot keepsake. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

BUCKNER, KY (WAVE) - Imagine paying to sleep in a jail.

That's what some people did Friday night to see inside the new $22 million facility in Oldham County that will add many more beds than the previous facility.

It came complete with the entire experience: a mug shot, a meal behind bars, and a bunk in a 10-person cell.

It's a dress rehearsal of sorts at the new Oldham County Detention Center.

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Brian West drove three hours from Russell Springs to join his sister for this experience of spending the night in the new facility.

"Of course that was a good incentive, we knew everything was fresh and good to go," West said. "I think it would be good for the employees and all the workers too."

About 80 people in all signed up. Many said this was a new experience, and the only way they would want to do it.

"It's a once in a lifetime thing. This is the way I want to enter jail," West said.

Unlike those who will be booked in here for real soon, the paying inmates were allowed to bring some of the niceties of life including their own pillows, cell phones, and got to choose if they wanted the striped jumpsuit or the t-shirt.

Jailer Mike Simpson came up with this idea.

"I designed this building and hope it works," he told the crowd.

The jailer said he did this to raise money for non-profits, but also to educate his staff before it officially opens.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Oldham Co. Detention Center offers controversial fundraiser

Paula, who lives nearby the jail, did it for a different reason.

"I wanted to see how secure it was for my safety," she told us. She said she has determined it is very secure.

There was some controversy initially when plans for the sleepover were announced. Some asked for the event to be canceled because it made light of incarceration.

The jail will open later this month. Proceeds from tonight will be shared among 16 non-profits.

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