Green River Correctional Complex

Allen County Detention Center

The Allen County Detention Center is battling an outbreak of COVID-19. 

The jail has had 20 of 58 inmates test positive for COVID-19, along with one staff member. 

Allen County Judge Executive Dennis Harper said he and his staff are working with the public health department and the dentention center staff on measures to address the issue.

“The positive inmates and the ones that have been exposed are being kept together," said Harper. "Some inmates that are not a threat to the citizens of Allen County, and have a stable home to go to, are being released and monitored by ankle tracker and the Allen County Health Department."

J. Tyler Franklin

The state expected to retest all the inmates at the Green River Correctional Complex by last Friday.

Almost a week after that deadline, retesting has not been completed. Department of Corrections Director of Communications Lisa Lamb said that, to date, 105 of the 982 Green River inmates have not been retested. 

The department is still awaiting test results for 470 of those retested.

Inmates inside the prison have told loved ones that the facility has run out of tests and doesn’t know when more will arrive. In an emailed response to KyCIR questions, Lamb has not addressed the availability of testing or respond to a follow up question about it.

J. Tyler Franklin

On the first Sunday in March, Teresa Johnson’s son called her from the Green River Correctional Complex with news that the facility was shutting down visitation due to the coronavirus.

Johnson didn’t think much of it back then. She had just visited her son earlier that day. The coronavirus seemed to be under control.

Since then it’s been a steady stream of worrisome news.

“My son would call and he would say ‘Mama, there’s more people here sick than what the news is saying,’” Johnson said.

J. Tyler Franklin

A group of women with ties to Kentucky’s Green River Correctional Complex is urging Gov. Andy Beshear to release more inmates amid the pandemic. A dozen women calling themselves “Prison Wives of Green River Correctional Complex” gathered outside the governor’s mansion and the Kentucky Capitol on Saturday afternoon, carrying homemade signs and wearing T-shirts with pictures of their loved ones who are behind bars.

As of May 22, 357 inmates and 50 staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus at Green River, a state prison in Muhlenberg County. Three men have died, although the state says the exact cause of death for one of those men is still pending.

Kentucky Department of Corrections

The number of COVID-19 cases in Muhlenberg County has spiked suddenly, following the recent mass testing at a state prison in Central City.

The Muhlenberg County Health Department reports 467 cases of COVID-19.

The total includes confirmed cases in the community, and at the Green Rive Correctional Complex, a state prison in Central City that can house close to 1,000 men. 

Alma Fink is nursing supervisor for the Muhlenberg County Health Department.

“The spike was reported suddenly because as the tests were done over the period of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of that week, they were sent to Gravity labs to be finalized, and those results started flowing in a couple of days after the tests were run," said Fink.