WKU Public Radio News Staff
Tue July 26, 2005
Two Area Jails Closed
Frankfort, KY – Hancock County fiscal court has decided to close the county jail. Hancock County would have to budget at least $400,000 a year for the ten bed jail to remain open.
County Treasurer Harvey Hawkins estimates the jail generates annual revenue of only about $50,000. Magistrates Mike Powers and Frank Estes voted against the closure and Estes says his vote was because four full-time jobs and one part-time job will be lost.
Hancock County jailer Michael Axton was elected and will keep his position.
Meanwhile, the state Corrections Department has removed about 130 inmates from the Whiley County jail less than a year after the $8 million center opened.
Corrections commissioner John Rees says he will not allow the jail to re-open if it is to operate under the management of Whitley County jailer Jerry Taylor.
Rees says conditions at the jail were " disorganized, filthy and full of contraband".
A Franklin County Circuit Court judge cleared the way for the state to close the jail after a hearing last Friday. Rees said corrections officials initially planned to spend a few days transferring inmates but acted more quickly after the arrived on Saturday.
Rees said corrections officials found drugs, homemade weapons, alcohol and nearly nonexistent supervision. There was not enough food in the kitchen to feed the inmates and when officials went to the canteen to get supplies, they ahd to get the key from an inmate.