Jails in Clinton County

From THE ALBANY-CLINTON COUNTY SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, 1836-1986, published in the Mountain Echo and transcribed and submitted by Lisa Haug.

What is the "old jail"?. Is it the jail that was torn down in August 1975, or is it the "old" log jail that stood a block from the square on Cumberland Street.?

The log jail was probably used to house convicted persons. Constable Alex Crow, a minister, ordered the city of Albany to construct a "calaboose" for persons arrested for public drunkenness. It was to be four feet long, four feet wide and seven feet tall, built on runners, with a slatted floor. This would facilitate the moving of the calaboose when the smell demanded it, which was often.

The "old" jail we are most familiar with was built in 1907. The bricks used in its construction came from south Albany. Jim Ruben Perdue was jailer when it was completed. This jail housed Clinton County prisoners until 1975.

In 1929 a menu prepared by the jailer's wife included fried chicken, hot biscuits, gravy, mashed potatoes, beans and cream pie. In 1966, a typical meal was fried bologna, eggs, gravy, biscuit and coffee. Time (and the budget) changes everything.

All the prisoners were housed in the rear of the building, both upstairs and downstairs, with the drunks being housed in the right rear. The upstairs was where the "cage" was located.

The jail became an eyesore in later years and was a long way from escapeproof. It was demolished after construction of the new jail in August 1975.

The consultant for the plans for the new jail was Ira E. Honeycutt. They were drawn and advertised for bid in late 1973, with the new jail to be built directly behind the old jail.

The new jail, with facilities for 28 prisoners, was completed by Pioneer Builders of Monticello and T.J. Tysdal, Inc. An open house was held in August 1975.

The first jailer in the new facility was Gene Ferrill, followed by Theda Riddle and the county's present jailer, J. D. Cooksey.

The jail has 24-hour supervision, television and air conditioning. The lastest state survey rates the jail in the top 11% of jails in Kentucky.

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