Warren County Jail Re-Assessing Work Release Policy After Escapes

Mar 10, 2016

Kentucky State Police are investigating how two inmates from the Warren County Jail walked away from a work detail this week. 

Twenty-five-year-old Bates Cole was captured the same day, while 23-year-old Anthony Embry was taken into custody after a two-day search. 

Warren County Jailer Jackie Strode told WKU Public Radio that all inmates who work outside are considered low-risk offenders.

"Nobody can be on it that has assaultive-type charges. Nobody can be on it that has sexual-type charges. It has to be lower felonies such as child support, forgery, maybe DUI-4th, that kind of thing."

The inmates eligible for work release are serving a five-year sentence or less.  Cole was in jail for violating parole. Embry was also serving time for a parole violation, as well as charges of Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Giving an Officer False Name or Address.

Asked how Embry was considered low-risk, Jailer Strode said the Kentucky Department of Corrections determines what classification level inmates are assigned.

"I have nothing to do with what the state considers low-risk, minimum-risk, or high risk. The state has a classification system and they have all the charges," explained Strode. "What he may have been originally charged with, and what he was convicted of, or what he pled to, might be two different things."

As the jail reviews its procedures, Strode says the work release program is an asset to the community.  Inmates perform tasks ranging from picking up litter to volunteering at the animal shelter. Strode says those activities save the city and county at least $1 million a year.