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The Kentucky State Prison System

The Department of Corrections is a state agency responsible for providing county jails oversight and setting standards for criminal holding facilities in the State. In the State of Kentucky, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet operates and manages the state-owned adult correctional facilities, provides community-based services, training and oversees the State’s Probation and Parole Division. The Kentucky state prison system’s major aim is to protect the citizens of the State from offenders of the law. The department of corrections seeks to provide a safe, secure, and decent environment for staff and offenders while carrying out the legislative and judicial processes’ duties. The department also aims to provide opportunities for skills acquisition for offenders, thereby facilitating non-criminal behavior. A commissioner appointed by the governor heads the prison system. Three deputy commissioners assist the commissioner; the Deputy Commissioner of Support Services, the Deputy Commissioner Community Services, Local Facilities, and the Deputy Commissioner Adult Institutions.

Difference Between Jail and Prison in Kentucky

The word ‘Jail’ and’ Prison’ are commonly used interchangeably. They both mean a holding facility for offenders, but they are different in different terms.

  • In terms of size, jails are usually smaller and therefore managed by local or County governments under the jurisdiction of a County Sheriff; prisons are bigger and operated by the State or Federal government.
  • In terms of duration for offenders, jails are designed for shorter stays, mostly for the people awaiting trial or serving shorter sentences, while prisons are for the people serving a long time with different level of holding custody (minimum, medium, maximum security or solitary confinement) depending on the crime committed.
  • In terms of crime committed; jail sentencing is usually for misdemeanor crimes or a violation of probation, whereas prison sentencing is for crimes that are considered a felony.
  • In terms of population, a prison is more populated than a jail. Therefore jails are less equipped with facilities for normal living standards. On the other hand, prisons are better prepared because of the duration of stay of inmates.

The jails in Kentucky are correctional facilities, which is why work release programs, boot camps, substance abuse programs, and vocational activities are carried out to improve inmates’ lives and avoid returning to the jail. Also, the state prisons have programs for inmates that are kept in minimum and medium security. Programs like work release, community restitution, Etc. However, only inmates who are about to complete their prison terms are eligible for such programs.

How Many Prisons are in Kentucky?

There are 5 federal Prisons, 12 State Prisons, and 20 County jails in the State of Kentucky.

  • Federal Prisons are;
  • Federal Correctional Institution, Manchester
  • Federal Correctional Institution, Ashland
  • Federal Medical Center, Lexington
  • United States Penitentiary, Big Sandy
  • United States Penitentiary, McCreary
  • State Prisons are;
  • Bell County Forest Camp
  • Blackburn Correctional Complex
  • Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex
  • Green River Correctional Complex
  • Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women
  • Kentucky State Reformatory
  • Kentucky State Penitentiary
  • Little Sandy Correctional Complex
  • Luther Luckett Correctional Complex
  • Northpoint Training Center
  • Roederer Correctional Complex
  • Western Kentucky Correctional Complex
  • County Jails are;
  • Boone County Jail
  • Oldham County Jail
  • Campbell County Detention Center
  • Muhlenberg County Detention
  • Kentucky River Regional
  • Warren County Regional Jail
  • Hart County Jail
  • Woodford County jail
  • Bullitt County Detention Center
  • Barren County Detention Center
  • County Jail, Hickman
  • Boyle County Jail
  • Franklin County Regional Jail
  • Grayson County Detention Center
  • Union County Jail, Morganfield
  • Rockcastle County Detention Center
  • Clark County Detention Center
  • Butler County Jail
  • Crittenden County Jail
  • McCracken County Jail

How do I search for an Inmate in Kentucky State Prison?

The Kentucky Department of Correction provides an online Inmate Search platform where an interested person can access public data on all inmates. Anyone can search for general inmate information by using the inmate’s full name. Still, access to further details like the inmate’s DOC/PID number, County where the offense was committed, and other vital information are released to eligible requesters. Eligible requesters have been given a court order to obtain the information, requesters who have received the offenders’ consent, the offenders, and the victims of the crime committed. The Victim Identification Notification Everyday (VINE) system allows victims of criminals to keep tabs on offenders’ movement, whether transferred from one holding facility to another, released, or placed on parole. Apart from the online search, an interested person can also search for an inmate by visiting the Department Of Corrections’ Office.

Kentucky Department of Corrections

275 East Main Street

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Phone: (502) 564–4360

Are Incarceration Records Public in Kentucky

Incarceration records in the State are seen as criminal records. In compliance with Kentucky’s 1976 Open Records Act, public members have the right to inspect or make copies of incarceration records. Any interested person will have to submit a request to the holding facility. However, there are aspects of some of the documents that may not be accessible to members of the public.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, County, or State that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Look Up Jail Records in Kentucky?

Looking up jail records in Kentucky is possible as long as the records are not sealed or expunged. Different law enforcement agencies typically keep jail records within the State. Therefore, it is possible to lookup jail records with;

  • The Correctional facility; to check for a person’s jail record in a correctional facility, it is important that the particular holding center is where the offender is being held.
  • The Office of the County’s sheriff; it is also important that the requester knows the County where the offender is being held, that way, it will be easier to find it by going or sending a mail to the Office of the County’s sheriff.
  • The Court Clerk, the Clerk of Court office, is also responsible for maintaining records of those who have been convicted.
  • The Department of Corrections; department oversees all criminal holding facilities in the State and all inmates’ records in the State. A member of the public interested in looking up jail records can either visit the DOC’s office or send a mail.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also keeps nationwide jail records.

Can Jail Records be Expunged in Kentucky?

Jail sentencing for crimes like misdemeanors, traffic infractions, and municipal violations can be expunged in Kentucky. Based on Kentucky Statutes § 431.078, misdemeanors, traffic infractions, and violation offenses are qualified for an expungement once the offender has fulfilled all the requirements for qualification, which include;

  • Applying for expungement of records five years after the last sentencing
  • Not being convicted of another offense or awaiting trial.
  • The offense committed not being subject to a subsequent trial.
  • The offense is not a sex-related offense or one committed against a child.

Apart from misdemeanors, the jail records of some felony sentencing regarded as a Class D felon can also be expunged. KRS § 431.073 allows for a Class D felony expungement after five years of the last sentencing.

  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!