DOJ: Kentucky Jail Uses Excessive Force on Inmates

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CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Justice says an investigation found evidence that a Kentucky jail routinely uses excessive force against inmates through the use of chemical agents, restraint chairs and electronic control devices.

A Thursday letter by the agency to the Boyd County Detention Center warns a lawsuit could be filed if conditions don’t improve within 49 days. It says the investigation found reasonable cause that jail conditions violate inmates’ Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

State police have said a jail inmate was found dead in a restraint chair in November and five deputy jailers were charged with manslaughter.

Boyd County Jailer William Hensley took over in December and says the issues predate him. Hensley says he and county officials have made several improvements including additional training for officers.