Candidates for Caldwell County Magistrate District 2 and District 4 are in agreement that Caldwell County should keep it’s jail despite pressure by Governor Matt Bevin to close all of the state’s life-safety jails.

Three of the four candidates are in agreement that closing the jail would cause more of a budget strain on the county while one candidate is unsure how taxpayers will be able to support it despite it’s need in the community.

Republican candidate for Magistrate District 2 Jeff Boone stated that closing or keeping the jail is not a cut and dry issue, it’s not about what the county wants or doesn’t want, it’s about what fiscally makes sense. He went on to say that not only will it cost more to house inmates elsewhere, it will dramatically alter the county’s economy. 

Democratic candidate for Magistrate District 2 Shirley Gray stated that she believes it’s a good thing that inmates are housed locally so that they are closer to their families and support systems. She also agreed that the county should keep the jail because it would be a huge cost to county should the jail shut down.

Democratic candidate for Magistrate District 4 George Kilgore stated that the jail is overseen by the Kentucky Department of Corrections and the main concern is knowing what is to be expected to keep the jail open and what would close it. However, Kilgore did state that he knew the monumental budget strain it would put on the county should the jail close. 

Republican candidate for Magistrate District 4 Jeff Simms said that while he thinks the jail is important to keep in the community he’s unsure whether taxpayers can sustain and support it. 

Simms believes the way the jail is currently funded, through money continuously given to it from the fiscal court, is not profitable. He said that county government must take measures in cost cutting, saving, and waste reduction to insure the jail’s survival.