Two Central Kentucky counties have formed an agreement to establish a regional jail in Paris that will save Nicholas County money.
On Thursday, the Bourbon County Fiscal Court approved a management-and-use agreement for the regional jail authority. The agreement, if approved by the Nicholas County Fiscal Court at a special meeting June 22, will go into effect July 1.
The contract with Bourbon County will cost Nicholas County $28 a day per prisoner in the first year, which is about $7 cheaper than the contract that Nicholas County has with Montgomery County, Nicholas Judge-Executive Larry Tincher said.
The rate will increase from $28 to $32 by the fifth year.
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Tincher said Nicholas County usually has 20 to 30 inmates in jail during a month, and the county spends about $10,000 to $14,000 a month on housing.
"It's a win-win situation for us," he said in a phone interview earlier this week.
Nicholas County, which does not have a jail, has a one-year contract with Montgomery County as an emergency backup, Tincher said. But Bourbon County has agreed to find a place for all Nicholas County inmates and transport them to Nicholas for court appearances.
Paris also is closer, and the roads are easier to travel, Tincher said.
Bourbon Judge-Executive Donnie Foley has said that state officials recommended the regional jail system as a way to avoid problems that the county has had with its elected jailer, Tony Horn, who was accused of ordering the destruction of e-mail messages related to the death of Daniel Trimble, who committed suicide in February 2008. Horn also was accused of sending a fabricated suicide observation report to the Department of Corrections during the death investigation.
Horn was convicted in March on two misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He had been indicted on two counts of tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony, and two counts of first-degree official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor. A Bourbon Circuit Court jury, however, did not convict the jailer on the misconduct charges and found him guilty of two counts of a lesser tampering charge.
Chief deputy jailer Sandy Dotson entered an Alford plea last year to charges of tampering with physical evidence and official misconduct.
Under a regional jail authority, a hired jail administrator, not an elected jailer, oversees the jail's operations.
Foley said a six-member board will be able to appoint an experienced person to be a transportation officer at the regional jail. An elected jailer will no longer operate the jail.
The Nicholas and Bourbon judge-executives will serve on the board, as will the jailers in both counties, including Horn, whose term does not expire until January. Horn is running for judge-executive in Bourbon County against Foley.
Two Bourbon County magistrates also will serve on the board.