Sandy Hook, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced that the new medium-security prison in Elliott County will be operated with Department Of
Corrections security staff. The administration may contract with private companies for food and health care services.
"We have evaluated our options in determining how best to operate this facility," the Governor stated during a visit to the 961-bed prison, Little Sandy Correctional Complex.
"The end result - a decision in the best interest of Kentucky - has always been, and continues to be, my priority," the Governor stated. "I want the facility operated efficiently and effectively with a priority on safety for the community."
Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, who also is secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, echoed the Governor's statement.
"As Kentucky's inmate population continues to rise, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is committed to accommodating this growth while ensuring public safety," the Lieutenant Governor stated. "I am confident that the Kentucky Department of Corrections will meet this challenge and will operate Little Sandy Correctional Complex in an efficient and professional manner."
The Corrections staff will consist of more than 200 full-time employees, including about 170 uniformed officers. Annual payroll is projected to be about $5 million. In addition, it is anticipated that the food and medical service contractors will hire most of their workers from the local community.
House Majority Floor Leader, Representative Rocky Adkins (D-Sandy Hook) joined the Governor at today's announcement and said, "The announcement by the Governor that the Little Sandy Correctional Complex here in Elliott County will be operated by the state will change the economy of Elliott County for generations to come."
"I commend House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins for his leadership and perseverance that have led to this announcement today, which benefit the region and the entire commonwealth," added Governor Fletcher.
Governor Fletcher said construction issues, including cracks and leaks and water filtration problems, remain to be addressed with the project contractor. "We are working together toward resolution of these issues and look forward to opening the facility later this year," Governor Fletcher concluded.
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