Hopkins County Jailer Joe Blue was named Jailer of the Year during the Kentucky Jailers Association recently completed summer conference in Northern Kentucky.
"I am humbled to be nominated and selected as Jailer of the Year," Blue said during the June 27 conference banquet.
Hopkins County Judge-executive Donnie Carroll told The Madisonville Messenger that Blue's inmate community service program saves cities and the county thousands of dollars a year.
Carroll said inmates recently cleared debris and brush from a road in Madisonville, saving local governments an estimated $6,000.
"They have a lot of things going on," Judge Carroll told the paper. "The inmates, through the guidance of deputies, mow and maintain county and city property."
The article also cited other inmate programs started by Blue, including Culinary Arts and Master Gardeners programs. Blue's programs are being adopted by other jailers around the state.
Judge Carroll told The Madisonville Messenger that training inmates received in jail helped them land jobs in landscaping and in the food service industry.
In 1988 Blue started his career at the Wyoming State Penitentiary Maximum Security Unit. This is also where he began the start of his law enforcement/corrections training. Blue moved back home to Hopkins County to continue his career and training and began working as a Deputy Jailer at the Hopkins County Jail in 1990.
Blue left the Hopkins County Jail in 1995 to go to work for the Hopkins County Sheriffs Department as a Deputy Sheriff. Blue graduated from the Police Academy and became a Kentucky Certified Peace Officer. While employed at the Sheriff's Department Blue worked as a Court Bailiff, Road Deputy and Chief of Court Bailiffs until his appointment as Jailer for Hopkins County in September 2005. He has since completed the Jail Administrators course given by the National Institute of Corrections. Jailer Blue has served on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Jailers Association since 2009.
Jailer Blue is a member of the Fraternal Order of Police; Kentucky Jailers Association; American Jail Association, American Corrections Association.and the National Sheriff's Association.