Caldwell County Jailer Jon Pettit in studio, May 11, 2018
Caldwell County Jailer Jon Pettit was in studio Friday morning to talk to WPKY about his current re-election campaign.
Jon stated that he was elected as Jailer in 2010, but before then worked in law enforcement for almost 20 years. What he assumed would be an easy transfer was not, he quickly found that taking care of people in prison was drastically different than arresting them. While it was an eye opening culture shock for him he worked with employees at the jail to do the best he could, and that experience has helped him succeed at his job. When he began as jailer he studied the budget and then found ways to streamline expenses and increase revenue, making sure that inmates had what they needed, but that costs were not excessive.
Jon also noticed the high return rates, it seemed as if the county jail was a revolving door. Inmates would be placed in the jail, released, and then not long after, would return. It was a cycle that continued on and on. That’s when Jon realized that the jail wasn’t offering it’s inmates any guidance or encouragement to turn their lives around. He began looking for ways to change this and adopted several programs including work programs, faith based programs, education programs, and more. These programs have made a difference at the jail, those who complete them have a significantly lowered return rate. Jon stated that if he was re-elected he will maintain that consistency at the jail, including being sure to treat inmates as humans, regardless of their backgrounds or what sent them to the jail. Jon told listeners that he and his deputies have a motto, “Fair, Firm, and Consistent, but also Compassionate,” and that he would work to keep the jail as such.
He then thanked all those in the community for allowing him to be jailer and supporting him throughout the years and promised that he will always treat the tax payer’s money as his own and will provide for family and loved ones incarcerated.
You can catch the full interview with Caldwell County Jailer Jon Pettit below.