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From Open Courts to Open Jails? Kentucky Jail May Offer Streaming Video

BY Nick Judd | Friday, September 30 2011

The interim director of a county jail in Kentucky has seen to it that the facility now has its first-ever Internet-capable camera, and may seek to make the video feed available to anyone who wants to see what happens at central booking in the Lexington facility.

Ray Sabbatine, interim director of the Fayette County Detention Center, thinks the move will generate some sympathy for corrections officers at central booking. That's according to the Lexington Herald-Leader:

The camera is now broadcasting, but only jail staffers have access to the feed. After a thorough review from the city's law department, Sabbatine said he hopes the feed becomes available to other city officials and, eventually, the public.

"The government has to decide what they're going to do with it, but I would like to broadcast it out to the community so they can see just exactly what happens on Friday and Saturday night," typically the jail's busiest hours, he said.

Sabbatine, who has been interim director since July, has said he hopes to make the jail more transparent before the next director takes over. He has said he does not want to be a candidate for the position.

A letter from officials obtained by the Kentucky paper says an attempt to broadcast the camera feed online would show people what corrections officers have to put up with in central booking, day in and day out.