Taylor County inmates who caused riot moved to MCDC

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‘This could have been a hostage situation… Every agency involved did exactly what they needed to do’

By Stevie Lowery

While most of us were sleeping early Tuesday morning, 36 inmates from the Taylor County Detention Center were safely moved to the Marion County Detention Center after starting a riot.
Marion County Jailer Barry Brady’s phone rang at 1 a.m. Tuesday, and staff at MCDC informed him that TCDC staff were requesting assistance after a riot broke out in one of its cells holding 36 inmates.
After calling and speaking with Taylor County Jailer Hack Marcum, Brady responded to TCDC himself, and said Campbellsville Police, Taylor County Sherriff’s Deputies and Kentucky State Police had all responded and secured the facility.
“It’s a situation that can happen anywhere, and they had a tremendous response,” Brady said. “When I got there, they had secured the inmates, and had them cuffed and sitting in an outdoor recreation area.”
No inmates, detention center staff or law enforcement officials were injured during the incident, according to Taylor County Jailer Marcum. Among the damages were some broken windows, a damaged door and some broken appliances. According to a report from the Kentucky State Police, several of the inmates covered the cameras and detached a steel bedframe from the floor and began using it and other objects to destroy the interior of the cell. The inmates also used the bedframe to attempt to breach the door. Significant damage was done to the interior of one cell, and the wall was broken around the door nearly breaching it into a hallway, KSP reports.
Marcum said TCDC staff members are unsure of the cause of the incident, but he said there were some complaints about the brightness of lights. Marcum said he tried de-escalating the situation verbally, but when that didn’t work, law enforcement officials were forced to pepper spray several of the inmates in order to gain control of the situation. The incident lasted approximately 40-45 minutes, according to Marcum.
Brady said after observing the 36 inmates and their demeanors, he agreed to allow Taylor County to transfer them to MCDC. Brady called five of his off-duty staff members to report to work, and the staff moved inmates from one of MCDC’s jail cells into the jail’s multipurpose room. Meanwhile, TCDC staff loaded their 36 inmates into vans and safely transferred them to MCDC.
“We moved 36 inmates to our jail in the middle of the night seamlessly with no problems,” Brady said. “We safely moved them, secured them, booked them, processed them and fed them. Now, we’re working with the state to find housing for most of these inmates. We will likely end up keeping some of them.”
Tuesday morning, Brady said the Taylor County inmates have not caused any problems or disturbances at MCDC since being moved.
“I talked with each of them personally as they got out of the van and entered the jail,” he said.
With the addition of the Taylor County inmates, MCDC is housing 344 inmates, which is 46 over capacity, Brady said. However, overcrowding is not a new problem, it’s an everyday problem at MCDC and jails across the state.
Brady said he’s extremely proud of all the law enforcement agencies and staff members for their response to a potentially dangerous, or even deadly, situation.
“This could have been a hostage situation,” Brady said. “But, everybody got safely moved. Every agency involved did exactly what they needed to do.”
Editor’s note: The Central Kentucky News Journal contributed to this story.