Kenton County Detention Center releases 274 inmates due to coronavirus

Kenton County Detention Center releases 274 inmates due to coronavirus
Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 11:22 PM EDT
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KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Nearly 300 people have been sent home from the Kenton County Detention Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders, the released are inmates who pose no significant threat to public safety.

The detention center has been systematically releasing low-level non-violent offenders for 13 days, Sanders says. He adds if an inmate is diagnosed with the coronavirus and has to go to the hospital, that would be a taxpayer expense.

And it would be expensive -- up to $100,000 per inmate.

The decision was made to go through every single inmate one-by-one, Sanders says, picking those officials believe are not a public threat.

“The vast majority of the people that we have released are people that were incarcerated, not because they are violent or a threat to public safety, or at least not immediately. They are in there because they haven’t made court dates or because they incurred new felony charges while out on bond from previous charges," Sanders explained.

Two weeks ago the population inside the detention center was 716. As of 4 p.m. Friday, it stood at 442.

Sanders cautions this is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. He says most of those released are now part of the Life Learning Center in Covington, which helps at-risk citizens with life and jobs skills.

“We have gone to great lengths to make sure low-level non-violent offenders have the support system in place to stay off drugs, to stay out of trouble and hopefully they show back up in court,” Sanders said.

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