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December 07, 2016
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Pike inmate security and state violence reduction effort

Pike County Sheriff Phil Bueki
TRR photo by David Hulse

Bueki also commented during a subsequent discussion about the need for prisoner housing and security that the new court addition would provide. The proposed addition would provide three separate secure passages for prisoners, judges and juries, and the public. Bueki said, “We moved 1,232 inmates through court (in 2013). They have to be separated. None of the others like child molesters and if one is murdered, who gets the $10 million lawsuit? We had 160 juveniles and they can’t be in view or earshot of the adults. We had 48 inmates in custody (at the old jail) one day last week… in a jail that was condemned in the 1980s; 20 or 25 in one cell, chained in the hallway or in closets. It’s a nightmare,” he said.

The sheriff said gang-related crime began about eight years ago and gangs still exist here. Some of his prisoners are gang members “and when they go to trial, they’re going to try to escape in transit to the courthouse. I have deputies on the street with shotguns and innocent people out shopping along the sidewalk… The gangs are here. It’s a reality of today,” he said.