A problem that has plagued the Logan County Detention Center continues as jailer Phil Gregory hands out photos to members of fiscal court of crowded conditions making it difficult to protect inmates from the COVID virus.

Although a large amount of the inmates inside the county jail have been vaccinated, there are still those who are vulnerable and the overcrowding conditions make a difficult situation even worse.

Gregory explained the problem Tuesday saying “This is a huge challenge and I just want the court to be aware.”

The population at the jail as of Tuesday morning was 106 inmates on the county side of the jail and 71 inmates on the state side of the jail. There are 35 inmates on the county side waiting to be classified and moved over to the state side causing the county side to be overcrowded. The detention center is split into two sections.

As of Monday, the jail had 111 inmates on the county side but only 82 beds. Those not assigned beds have to sleep on plastic boat-like cots.

Magistrate Jason Harper asked the Gregory if the elected officials on a higher level were working to make progress on classifications?

Part of the problem stems from the Department of Corrections who is not classifying the sentenced inmates in a timely matter which allows them to be moved over to the less crowded state side of the jail.

“They are indeed,” said Gregory answering harper’s question. “I think the Department of Corrections has been asked in a meeting why they aren’t meeting their statutory requirements to classify state inmates,” said Gregory.

Judge-Executive Logan Chick said he and Gregory have been in contact with state representatives Whitney Westerfield and Jason Petrie about the problem.

Magistrate Robert Chyle asked the jailer if the county needed to think about some time adding on to the jail?

“That has been discussed ever since I’ve been jailer. We’ve had an engineer look at it, architects, and a financial analysis done. We’ve been looking at that for a while,” said Gregory.

According to Gregory and the statutes, inmates are to be classified within 45 days of sentencing.

“I’m seeing 782 days we’ve had to keep them (inmates) here on the county side,” said Gregory.

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