Local prisons see the benefit in housing more state inmates


Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Randall Barnes

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. - After years of push back and protest, the State of Kentucky has decided not to renew contracts with private prisons. Instead, they'll be sending more state inmates, and the money that comes with them, to local, county jails according to the Marshall County Treasurer.

The McCracken County Jail stays full of county inmates, but Jailer Bill Adams says the money smaller jails stand to gain from state inmates are dollars that will help improve both the budget and the community.

Just ten state inmates a year at $27 a day could make a big difference. "You know, GED, AA, NAA, programs like that that we could increase if we had some more revenue," said Adams. 

The state's decision to send more state inmates to local jails comes after a lot of lobbying from the jailers association. Adams said, "We definitely want them to not renew those contracts, because it benefits the taxpayer if they don't." Those are benefits that translate into, not only bigger budgets, but also cleaner roads and ballparks. "We get paid for them being here, and the community reaps the benefit of them helping clean up the community," said Adams.

He said the inmates would be funneled through according to their classification of crime. When it comes to space, he said they've always struggled with overcrowding. So, that problem won't be a new one for him to face.

Adams said the State of Kentucky will also save money, because private prisons charge more money to keep state inmates than regional jails.