Jailers without jails at risk of losing jobs

A new Kentucky bill could save your tax dollars, but cost local jailers their jobs. Louisville House Representative Phil Moffett said he plans on filing a bill that would remove elected jailers without jails in their county. There are currently 41 counties with no local jails. It would affect counties in our area like Carlisle, Livingston, Lyon, and Trigg county.

Moffett said if the bill passes it could save Kentucky taxpayers $2 million.

Livingston County Jailer Benji Guill thinks losing these jailers could cost counties more money. He said hiring hourly employees to replace the different jobs he does could add up. Guill transports inmates, handles bond paperwork, runs the county’s social media page and website, as well as some of the county’s IT work.

“I’m not just a 5 or 6 hours a day, 8 hour day jailer. I do a lot more stuff than transport inmates back and forth to court,” Guill said.

Guill said he’s actually gotten busier since Livingston County’s jail closed

“I’m actually so much busier than I was before, because I don’t have near as many employees,” Guill said.

It’s also tough on small communities like Carlisle County. Jailer Ronnie Owens said there isn’t enough help to go around.

“There’s two of us in the transportation department, and then the sheriff and one deputy,” Owens said.

Owens finds the news of this bill devastating.

“I took this job to help people and I feel like that’s what we’ve done for the last 8 years,” Owens said.

He’s hoping the bill will be thrown out so he can keep helping his community.

Representative Moffett said he’s filling the bill because there isn’t enough money to fund public pension systems or build roads. He said as legislators they’re looking at ways to “cut waste”. He believes this is one way to do that.

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