Probation office built with help of jail inmates opens in Henderson


HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) The Henderson County Jail opens a new probation and parole office.

The building is down the street from the detention center, built with the help of inmates.

Nearly 30 inmates from the jail worked on the office, doing tasks that don’t require a state inspection. The program let them build up skills as they build that office.

It’s where people on probation and parole go at least once a month.

“They have to check in, take drug screens, seek employment,” says Henderson Co. Jailer Amy Brady. It’s a place built with the help of those who may find themselves in once they get out of jail.

“Everyone thinks outside of the box and tries to come up with a different program to bring out the talent that’s hidden once they’re incarcerated,” Brady says.

The inmates worked on drywall, siding and the roof on the new office. Brady says they even helped build some of the furniture. They were not involved in other parts that require inspection after work is done. Captain Eddie Vaught says the program could lead inmates to rediscover skills they once had.

“Maybe it rekindles something they used to do, maybe they want to go back to that, or reminds them of a life they used to have,” he says.

Henderson County Jail is the first in Kentucky to have inmates help in construction. They’ve also built a training center and commissary building near the jail. Brady says it cost the jail $300,000, including the land and will get $400,000 back after leasing it to the state.

“When they get a chance to do what maybe they did on the outside, some of them were drywallers like I said, painters, that day of work doing that, something they haven’t done in a while, makes them accustomed to earning a living, it helps them,” says Capt. Vaught.

Brady says they brought in a retired building and trades teacher to help the inmates learn the building skills. She adds future builds near the detention center have not been scheduled yet.

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(This story was originally published on October 30, 2019)

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