Ky. To Lease Private Prison To Relieve Overcrowding

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WHEELWRIGHT, KY. (AP) — Kentucky officials have announced plans to lease a private prison in Floyd County to provide relief for overcrowded jails in the state.

Officials said Friday that the facility in Wheelwright will be run by the state and will house hundreds of inmates. The state plans to lease the facility from Tennessee-based CoreCivic.

The facility last housed inmates in 2012. State corrections officials say the facility, to be called Southeast State Correctional Complex, is expected to begin operations in early 2020.

The prison is expected to employ nearly 200 people in a region hard hit by the sharp downturn in the region’s coal sector.

State Justice Secretary John Tilley says the new venture can make a “serious dent” in severe overcrowding that has become “untenable” in many jails.