The institution was originally constructed as a state mental hospital. Beginning in 1941, the United States Army assumed control of the facilities to provide care for soldiers suffering from psychiatric illness.
While operated by the Army from 1941 to 1946, the Darnell Hospital had the capability to house approximately 880 ill soldiers and was also utilized to contain German prisoners of war. In 1946, the hospital was returned to state control for the sum of $1. Interestingly, employees desiring to be a part of the transaction contributed 100 pennies for the purchase price. The facilities were operated as the Kentucky State Hospital from 1946 until 1977 when phased to the control of the Bureau of Social Services. For five years, from July 1977 through February 1983, the Danville Youth Development Center was utilized as a youth center for juvenile offenders.
The Department of Corrections received control of the property, consisting of 551 acres and approximately 50 structures, in January 1983. Northpoint Training Center was initially conceived as a minimum-security institution for fewer than 500 inmates, but the mission rapidly changed to a medium-security institution with a proposed population of approximately 700 inmates. Today, the institution operates as a medium-security institution with a current bed capacity of 1,256 inmates. The institution currently consists of 1,108 general population medium-security beds, 60 special management beds, and 40 minimum-security beds.
General population inmates are housed in six open-bay dormitories. Special Management Unit inmates are housed in single cells in a 60-bed structure separated from the main compound. The perimeter of the secure compound is a double 12-foot fence, with razor wire on the bottom and top. The inner perimeter fence has a sensor system that alerts the main control in the event of contact, 4 armed wall towers, an outside patrol, and a control center. Minimum-Security inmates, numbering approximately 40, are housed in two structures outside the secure perimeter.
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Accredited by the American Correctional Association (ACA).