Inmates sleep on the floor, with and without mats, at the Boyle County Detention Center. The population has doubled in the past year, but the jail still loses money.
Magistrates are looking for ways to bail the jail out of its financial problems.
"We're in difficult financial times and it's only getting worse," Judge-Executive Tony Wilder said at the Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday.
Magistrates asked if the jail would save money if state inmates were turned away. The county spends $31.65 a day to feed, bed and care for an inmate. The state reimburses the county $26.51 a day.
Wilder explained that 70 percent of the jail's costs are fixed, and would be present with or without state inmates. He said that the Boyle and Mercer counties knew when they built the jail that they would lose money on state inmates.
Half of the jail is unsecured and only suitable for state inmates. Juveniles also used to be kept there, but the state started using its own regional juvenile detention centers.