Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Committee Chair

Dr. Iuliia Shybalkina

Executive Summary

Research on jail finances in the United States, in general, and Kentucky, specifically, has been lacking. This capstone describes trends in jail finances in Kentucky. It also examines the legal requirement to house certain state inmates in county jails and the financial burden of this requirement on counties. Uniform Financial Information Reports (UFIRs) data from 58 counties in Kentucky was used to descriptively analyze financial trends in full service jails from fiscal years 2007 to 2019. This data was combined with Kentucky Department of Corrections jail population data from fiscal years 2012 to 2019 to compare financial trends with the changes in the jail population. The analysis suggests the state has not funded jails proportionally to the state inmate population, and counties are transferring in about five to six percent of total revenue away from other purposes into the jail fund.