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Hickman County Fiscal Court Votes to Close Detention Center


  The Hickman County Fiscal Court voted Wednesday morning to close the Hickman County Detention Center – a move that will save the county around $150,000 a year.

Jailer Chad Barber, who will stay on with the county as a transportation officer, says the decision to close the jail came down to a lack of staffing as well as a lack of inmates.

“We’ve been averaging anywhere from 44 to maybe 46 [inmates]," Barber said. "You need at least 50 a month to break even, so to speak, because they pay for state inmates, the state does.”

Barber said the jail employs 10 full-time employees and four part-time employees. Half of the full-time employees will retain their jobs in the emergency dispatch that will continue to operate out of the empty jail.

There were 53 inmates in the jail Wednesday morning, according to Barber. Nearly all of them were state inmates. Barber was busy Wednesday working to transfer the inmates to jails in Graves, Fulton and Marshall counties.

Hickman joins more than 40 Kentucky counties that have closed their jails but still employ jailers. A bill that would have addressed this issue by monitoring the duties of no-jail jailers stalled in this year’s General Assembly.

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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