Candidate Profile: Eddie Harper
by Eric Snyder --
Apr 19, 2006 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When former Deputy Jailer Eddie Harper decided to run for County Jailer, there was still a jail to speak of.

Since then, though, the jail has officially been dissolved and the salary of jailer cut.

But Harper, who resigned as Deputy Jailer at the end of February to allow for more campaigning, did not reconsider his decision to run when the Trigg County Fiscal Court voted to close the jail in March.

“I’m trying to find ways to get a new jail back,” Harper said during a recent interview with The Cadiz Record. “[Its closure is] going to hurt the county.”

Harper said the new scenario, in which all prisoners are transported to the Christian County Jail, will prove costly to the county. Not just in the gas it will take to travel back and forth, or the $25-per-day to lodge each prisoner — but in the ability to properly enforce laws within Trigg County.

“You have a society where we can’t punish our own,” he said.

Harper said that, during the discussions leading to the jail’s closure, too few people were aware that, once closed, a simple vote would be insufficient to reopen the facility.

As Harper explained, the jail was “grandfathered” out of some requirements of modern jails, such as the lighting fixtures and cell materials that are used. If the county wants to reopen the jail, he said, those requirements would suddenly have to be met.

Harper said “it would be easier and cheaper” to build a new building than to renovate the jail, which was built about 30 years ago, to today’s standards.

When the jail was open, its average daily operation was about 12 prisoners, Harper said, who worked under incumbent Jailer Glenn Cunningham from 2000 until his resignation in February.

At $25 dollars a day, it will cost $9,125 to lodge one inmate in Christian County for one year. Using Harper’s figure of an average inmate population of 12 prisoners, that could amount to more than $109,500 per year going to Christian County.

For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.
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