The Barren County Jail may soon undergo renovations. Barren County Judge Executive, Davie Greer, said the jail is in desperate need of updates in order to function safely.
"The structure is basically sound, it's just that some of the things, plumbing problems, things like that, that need to be addressed can't be done while the jails occupied," said Leland Cox, Barren County jailer.
Cox also said he's been talking to Greer about several options for the jail. They've already met with an architect who recommends starting renovations right away and possibly building a new jail that would be connected to the current facility.
"It's all about safety not only for inmates but the public and staff. And we have to go by jail standards; Kentucky has jail standards that we have to meet."
Cox also said they are barely meeting those standards. But Greer said the major problems need to be repaired first before a new building is built.
"The heating and cooling, air circulation and smoke evacuation, they are three things that need to be addressed immediately. There's one item I'd rather not say on camera because it could cause a problem to the public or if inmates knew that this is a problem."
Cox also said the jail has been dealing with these problems for more than a year. Minor repairs have been made but he had hoped the process to completely improve the jail would be moving faster than has been.
"It worries me that something major could go wrong and the state would shut us down," Cox said.
If the current facility does get a complete renovation, Greer said she wants to make sure it will continue to be used, even if another one is built down the road. Greer also said the current jail could be used as office space for its kitchen and laundry facilities and to hold class D felony offenders.
Greer will present her ideas at a meeting with the county magistrates as early as next week.
To learn more about the Barren County Jail visit www.barrencountykyjail.com