Northern Ky. county opening long-awaited new jail

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A northern Kentucky county will end its 30-year quest for a new jail by mid-month when a new 620 bed facility opens in south Covington.

The new 163,000-square-foot Kenton County Jail is expected to initially hold more than 500 prisoners upon opening. The Kentucky Enquirer reports that the new jail replaces a crowded, outdated detention center near the Ohio River.

Kenton County Jailer Terry Carl says the facility is modeled after a facility in Hillsborough County, Fla. Kenton County's $41 million detention center will feature the latest in technology, programming and a new way of housing inmates that's aimed at improving safety and reducing taxpayer costs.

Kenton County Judge-executive Ralph Drees called the jail "the largest single construction project ever undertaken by the county" and noted it will include a number of cost-saving improvements over the current 40-year-old jail.