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The sheriff is authorized by statute to employ guards to:

  1. Protect a defendant from violence, and to prevent the defendant's escape or rescue in all cases where a defendant charged with the commission of a felony is committed to jail, either before or after trial, and the safety of the defendant, or the defendant's safekeeping, requires a guard;
  2. Transport a prisoner to another jail when the county jail is insufficient for the safekeeping of the prisoner; and
  3. Transport a prisoner charged with a crime from one county to another for trial or safekeeping.

T.C.A. §§ 41-4-118, 41-4-121, and 41-4-126.

Minimum Qualifications

After July 1, 2006, any person employed as a corrections officer or guard in a county jail or workhouse must have the same minimum qualifications as a jailer. T.C.A. § 41-4-144.


Jail deputies must take the same oaths as the sheriff, which are certified, filed, and endorsed in the same manner as the sheriff’s. T.C.A. § 8-18-112. See Oaths under General Information tab of the County Offices topic for additional information.