LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's no secret that Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) is already overcrowded. Officials are temporarily re-activating old jail space to try and deal with the ongoing issue.
According to a release from LMDC, the daily inmate population is trending above 2,000 in the past week. Assistant Director Steve Durham said another wave of inmates is headed their way.
"Our housing units are designed for 20 to 25 individuals and when we get crowded, we're putting 30 to 45 individuals in a housing unit," Durham said.
In anticipation of the increasing jail population, Durham said they will be opening the overflow jail space above LMPD's headquarters.
"We're going to select individuals to put in that space and we've been doing this for quite a period of time," Durham said. "So it will be a smart decision based on classification."
Durham said the flux happens from time to time. He explained they take a look at analytics to prepare for potentially more inmates. The main contributor to the increase is currently the abundance of bench warrants, he told us.
"They don't show up to court for that traffic citation, the judge is going to issue a warrant for their arrest," Durham said.
He explained that all this comes at a cost.
"The big challenge with this is that this space is un-budgeted," Durham said. "All these men and women that are assigned to work in that unit are working on overtime."
The last time they shut the doors on the extra space was back in early January. Durham said he's unsure how long it will be open this time around.
"Once it starts to decline, and it stays in a pretty steady rate of decline, then we can review those factors and make the determination whether or not to shut that space down," Durham said.
LMDC's fixed capacity is around 1,800 inmates. Durham said they currently have more than 2,100 inmates booked.
In 2017, LMDC booked 89 people per day.
LMDC estimates the opening of this space will cost an un-budgeted $100,000 per month.