Kentucky’s criminal justice system must be fixed

February 27, 2018 By Daniel Cameron
The news-Enterprise

In May of next year, Ken­tucky will run out of prison space, and without substantive changes, the Commonwealth may be forced to release prisoners early.

How did we get here?

Well, at a time when the nation’s incarceration rate declined for the third consecutive year, Kentucky’s incarceration rate continues to surge at a dizzying pace. The Commonwealth’s female incarceration rate is more than two times the national average and now stands as the second-highest in America.

Even before the U.S. De­part­ment of Justice released these newest statistics just a few weeks ago, Gov. Matt Bevin, along with the House, Senate, the secretary of Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and the chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court, had become alarmed enough about the increasingly worrisome trendlines that they resolved to tackle the issue. They impaneled the Justice Reinvestment Work Group in spring of 2017 to study the numbers and recommend data-driven solutions.

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