LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jails across the country are facing overcrowding issues. The Madison County jail is overpopulated by hundreds of people making for unsafe conditions, not only for the inmates, but for the staff as well.
The Madison County Detention Center was built nearly 30 years ago, and at that time the needs of the country were very different. The jail only has 184 beds and it is currently housing around 413 inmates.
It's not only unsafe for the inmates. There is only one guard per every 50 inmates.
"A typical cell that was built to accommodate 10 or 12 people will have upwards to 30 people in it and when you have that many people in that close of proximity tensions are going to be high," Madison County Jailer Steve Tussey said.
It’s so overpopulated, that 43 inmates are being kept on house arrested and 96 are housed in jails spreading across 12 different counties. That money is coming straight out of Madison County tax payers’ pockets. Jail officials are hoping to add more space to the existing detention center or to build a new facility.