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June 8, 2008

Kentucky struggling with growing incarceration costs

This new AP story, headlined Ky. officials looking to reduce state prison burden," details Kentucky's continuing struggle with even expanding incarceration costs.  Here are a few excerpts:

With Kentucky's prison population skyrocketing, and only expected to get larger, Gov. Steve Beshear has called on a group of legal authorities from across the state to find ways to relieve the prison system's financial burden on taxpayers.

As Kentucky grapples with budget woes throughout state government — such as sharply reduced spending on public universities — lawmakers are looking to reduce the amount of money the state spends on prisons. A subcommittee of the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council began studying the state's sentencing practices last week.

"The prison population has grown to the point that it's getting close to costing half a billion" dollars, said Charles Geveden, deputy secretary of the state's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. "We need to look at that, but the thing we don't want to sacrifice is the protection of the public — and we won't sacrifice that."...

Beshear has asked the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council to study the issue and report back with recommendations by Dec. 1.  The sentencing subcommittee headed by Geveden is one of five reviewing the prison issue.  Other subcommittees are looking at Kentucky's drug laws, the penal code, pretrial release and probation and parole.

Geveden's panel on sentencing is looking at, among other things, finding ways of reducing the number of people who re-offend. Some answers could include offering more treatment, education and job training while people are in prison, Geveden said.

Regular readers know I have been on this state sentencing story for quite some time, and here are links to some recent blog coverage of states' struggles with the various costs of large prison populations:

June 8, 2008 at 08:20 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Have you seen the new idea for an "Alternative Prison?" See the blogs at gracetowne.blogspot.com and gracetownefaq.blogspot.com (actually, these blogs have been up for over 3 years now, and the lady in charge has been writing governors to no avail)

Posted by: Mission | Jun 9, 2008 5:21:34 PM

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