Fayette Jail Update

Aug 24, 2011

The interim director of the Fayette County Detention Center has lots of ideas for moving forward.  Former director Ray Sabbatine) was called back into a leadership role earlier this summer.  Sabbatine says a ‘fish eye’ type camera at the booking area of the jail could enhance ‘transparency’ by streaming video and audio on a web site.

“It allows government and members of the community potentially to view what goes on in jail booking at any time and for us to be able to record it at the same time,” said Sabbatine.

Sabbatine appeared Tuesday before city councilmembers.  He says a dog rescue program in Georgia could be incorporated at the Lexington jail and offer a second chance to inmates and canines.  Sabbatine says incarceration costs could be reduced by issuing more citations and making fewer arrests for certain offenses.

The former jailer admits morale is ‘not good’ at the Old Frankfort Pike facility.  He says it partly stems from differences in inmate and staff benefits.

“We’ve got an officer dining room that’s non-functional at this point.  You know, we have inmates over here eating candy, but staff at the tower over here not being able to eat their snack at the offices’ station.  Those are demoralizing things,” added Sabbatine.

Sabbatine says about one thousand inmates are  incarcerated at the Old Frankfort Pike facility, the lowest count in some time.