Spending limit for contractor approved by Fiscal Court for possible detention center expansion

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Expansions could be coming to a local jail, though no plans are official.

Warren County Regional Jail has been facing overcrowding issues for years now and have gotten the OK to hire a contractor to look at the possibility of expansion of the facility.

Warren County Fiscal Court approved a $15,000 spending limit to allow a contractor to inspect the jail.

The goal of the inspection is to see if and how the jail could potentially expand to create more space.

“This is very preliminary, but we are excited to see what our options are,” said Jailer Stephen Harmon.

Overcrowding has become an issue all over the state, causing jails to have a shortage of beds for inmates.

“Currently at Warren County Jail there’s 562 beds and it’s been that same number for the last couple of decades. Consistently we’ve had than 562 [inmates] for several years. This plan that the court has empowered us to work on, we’ll get a plan where we can get everyone in a bunk. If you have more prisoners than you have beds, then they are housed on two mats and that’s acceptable by the state standard,” Harmon said.

The need for expansion comes as Bowling Green grows as a community, but still, the hope of law enforcement is that crime rates would lower in the county.

“It’s unfortunate though that we have to expand the jail within this community. You would hope that we could reduce the numbers in there. It’s just an unfortunate circumstance with a growing vibrant community,” Sheriff Brett Hightower said.

But these plans are not set. There is still much to look into before any expansion can occur.

“But before we can make future plans, we have to find out structurally if we can expand it and that’s really what’s going to happen is they are going to look at the bones of the facility to see what opportunities that we have if we need to spend the money to expand that facility,” Warren County Magistrate Doug Gorman said.

This expansion will hopefully streamline the intake process and allow a safer environment for both corrections officers and inmates.