Section 99 of Kentucky’s constitution provides for the election of a jailer in each county. Section 105 permits the legislature to consolidate the offices of sheriff and jailer in any county, if the office of sheriff is retained and the sheriff assumes the jailer’s duties.
This provision results from a compromise between two factions of the 1890 Constitutional Convention, one wanting to abolish the office of jailer, and the other urging retention of the offices of sheriff and jailer. The Kentucky constitutional provisions relating to the office of jailer are unique. No other state constitution refers to jailers. In most states, the sheriff or a sheriff’s deputy would perform the duties of jailer.
Qualifications, prescribed in Kentucky's constitution, are:
Before assuming office, a jailer must execute bond before the judge/executive and must take the oath prescribed by the constitution.
County Jail System. Each fiscal court must provide for the incarceration of prisoners arrested in the county or sentenced or held by order of the courts in the county. A county has the flexibility to maintain its own jail, to contract with another county or a city for the use of its facilities, or to participate in a regional jail system if such a system is established. Franklin County operates a jail which contracts with other counties to house their prisoners.
Providing for the incarceration of prisoners is an expensive undertaking for counties. County jails will become more expensive as Kentucky seeks to upgrade them, pursuant to its own standards and regulations, and as a part of a nationwide response to federal court mandates for better jail facilities and correctional programs.
No county may receive less than $24,000 from the State Treasury for the care and maintenance of prisoners charged with or convicted of violations of state law. The county may receive revenue from the federal government, cities, or other counties for holding prisoners for those units of government. In addition, a Class D felon who is sentenced to an indeterminate term of 5 years or less, or who has less than 5 years left on a longer term, may serve that term in a county jail. Class D & Class C felons sentenced to terms longer than 5 years may serve that time in county jails.
The commissioner of the Department of Corrections will grant a waiver to counties that choose not to house felons (KRS 532.100). Counties that house felons will receive a per diem for housing them. A county may require county jail prisoners to reimburse the county for expenses incurred. This includes a $50 per diem for room and board as well as the cost for medical treatment incurred during incarceration.
Prisoners in work release status may be charged up to 25 percent of gross daily wages, a minimum of $12 and a maximum of $40 per day, for the costs of their imprisonment. The money must be paid to the jailer.
Jake Banta (D)
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Of the two candidates who filed for the Democratic Primary for jailer - Jake Banta, the incumbent, and Tracy Hopper, the challenger - Banta won the Primary. No Republican candidates filed for that office thus he will be unopposed in the November 2022 General Election. The duties of the office of jailer are described below the contact information for the two candidates.
Jake Banta for Jailer