Forty one counties in Kentucky have jailers with no jails.
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting looks at the costs of jailers without jails. Four far western counties, Carlisle, Trigg, Lyon, and Livingston, have jailers with no jails. Carlisle pays its jailer a modest $24,500 a year.
...Counties without a local jail either put arrestees in a regional jail or else transport them to a neighboring county jail that has agreed to house them. All 41 no-jail counties still have an elected jailer, which in Kentucky alone is a constitutional office.
Those counties are scattered around the state but generally are rural and among the least populous. More than a third are in eastern Kentucky, and many of those are financially strapped, periodically grappling with the possibility of cutbacks in basic services while paying thousands of dollars to jailers who, in the eyes of many, don't earn their keep.
"More than 80 percent of the nation's jails are run by sheriffs," said Michael Jackson, a program specialist with the National Institute of Corrections in Washington, D.C. "Kentucky's the only state that has elected jailers."
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