The report, which holds no legal weight but suggestions only, was compiled by a previous Grand Jury, which- according to Foreman Bill Downey- felt changes need to be made in the jail concerning several issues.
The report was not returned in connection with any related indictment, but the grand jury recommended improvements involving additional lighting and recording devises, procedures on how better to utilize the existing tape recording devises and purchasing and using a drug dog daily at the jail.
Although the report's recommendations had already been discussed at a previous meeting, Magistrate Carter wanted the issue on the court's agenda to discuss it further. Carter began his inquiry by saying it was his understanding that the grand jury report was conceived because of the drug problems in the jail that had come in front of the jury as well as alleged sexual misconduct by a jail deputy.
Carter asked Jenkins if he had followed up on any of the jury's recommendations. Jenkins said he has already addressed those issues with the court and they are being taken care of. Jenkins told the court at a previous meeting that he had ordered the additional video equipment and was looking into the cost for additional lighting.
Another recommendation was for all future grand juries to tour the detention center. Jenkins said he welcomes that and was actually the one who wrote suggesting the visits.
Carter then asked Jenkins if he knew there is a drug problem in the jail. Jenkins said yes and that he has said that all along. Carter said he wasn't for purchasing a drug dog specifically for the jail but said he did talk to the four other dog handlers in the county/cities who said they would be more than willing to search the jail anytime it is needed. “I don't understand why we have all these drug dogs and never use them,” said Carter. Jenkins told Carter that they had a dog in not too long ago.
Judge/Executive Guion spoke up, telling Carter that he feels they should leave that at the discretion of the jailer and if Carter wants to run the jail that he should spend more time there. “I am getting tired of riding a wet horse to death,” said Guion who added that these issues have already been discussed.
Carter, who wasn't happy with Guion's remarks, said, “You have an attitude today Judge. I'm just about done." Guion agreed with Carter saying, “Yes you are.”
The last issue brought to the table by Carter involved an alleged sexual misconduct offense by an jail deputy, which according to Carter, was over the statute of limitations before it came in front of the grand jury so they couldn't do anything about it. Carter said the offense, if the person alleged to have committed it had been found guilty, would only have been a misdemeanor.
The grand jury report requests that legislators create a new statute to make it a felony for any employee, contractor, vendor, or volunteer in any correctional facility, detention facility (jail) or for any police officer or peace officer or bailiffs to engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse as defined in KRS 510.010 with any prisoner or person under arrest custody.
“When someone is in the jail they are at the mercy of the jail,” said Carter.
At the end of the discussion Carter said, “I know you aren't going to get rid of the drug problems all the way. They are in prisons.” Jenkins said it's easier to get drugs into a jail because of the work release program.
Carter said it seems that the Grand Jury's recommendations are being worked on. He thinks that is a good thing but said that he is going to continue to check up on the utilization of the drug dogs.
“That wasn't too bad, Judge, was it?” asked Carter when he was finished. “No, not too bad... pointless, but not bad,” said Guion.
This report was mailed out to numerous individuals including Fiscal Court members, Guion, County Attorney Tom Noe, Jenkins, State Representatives Sheldon Baugh and Jody Richards, Senators Joey Pendleton and David Williams, Governor Ernie Fletcher and Lt. Governor Steve Pence.