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March 3, 2011

"Gov. Beshear signs bill aimed at lowering Kentucky prison population"

The title of this post is the headline of this local article from Kentucky, which starts this way:

In a bipartisan flourish, Gov. Steve Beshear on Thursday signed into law a measure aimed at reversing the fast-rise in Kentucky’s prison population by steering more nonviolent drug offenders into treatment as a less costly alternative to being locked up.

Beshear hailed the bill’s overarching goal of reducing prison costs, which consume heaping amounts of state tax dollars that he said could be put into education, children’s health care and job creation.  “It enables the state to continue to be tough on crime but at the same time to be smarter about it,” the Democratic governor said at a bill-signing ceremony that drew leaders from all three branches of government.

At least momentarily, bipartisan teamwork was in fashion. Beshear was flanked by top Democratic and Republican lawmakers — including Senate President David Williams, a Republican who wants his job.

The bill is touted as a far-reaching way to lower prison headcounts, reduce the frequency of repeat drug offenses and improve public safety.  It seeks to make a big dent in Kentucky’s illegal drug scourge.  It updates Kentucky’s drug laws by reducing prison time for low-risk, nonviolent drug criminals caught with small amounts of drugs.  More of them would get treatment and alternative sentencing instead of prison time.  The bill preserves tough sentences for violent offenders and serious drug criminals.

Williams, R-Burkesville, said the measure offers the chance to “make a real difference in people’s lives.  To give them a second, or third chance even, as far as the ability to rehabilitate.”  Legislative leaders said the bill overcame tough odds to reach the governor’s desk.  It may be the biggest accomplishment of this year’s legislative session, which has a handful of working days left.

March 3, 2011 at 08:21 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Treatment alternatives are already the standard remedy for the addicted. It is already extremely difficult to get into prison, and one must be a very busy, violent, and repeat offender.

All released prisoners move to halfway houses near the governor's mansion, and where his lawyer staff live.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 3, 2011 11:03:13 PM

SC --

Your first sentence is correct. Your second is not without some basis in fact. Your third is.....ummm.....uh.........

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 4, 2011 1:57:56 AM

Do you approve of the dumping of toxic waste into residential neighborhoods of people with dark skins. They do not make a lot of money, and have less political influence or access due to inability to donate to political campaigns? Is that fair? Is it even legal?

Each criminal is far more damaging to people, and to property values than a ton of toxic waste.

I live in a lawyer neighborhood. I looked up the sex offenders. There are 2 who come to work in my zip code, and go to another at night. I punched in a zip code where the lawyer works, in an inner city area. There are 68 sex offenders who live there. Fair to dark skinned little girls?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 4, 2011 5:55:59 AM

Kentucky has it right. I live in the 'progressive' city of New York and I have spent every day for the last two years researching every jail and prison in the United States, and rating them based upon the information they convey to the general public. Some of the worst offenders (as in Jail and Prison systems) are in the largest cities and states with king-size budgets. On the national stage Kentucky is never considered for their novel ideas, in fact they are mocked, but it is changes in laws like this that will hopefully lead the nation forward. Jails are a revolving door of drug abusers. We will never solve our violent crime problems until we rehabilitate their customers. Right on Kentucky!

Posted by: Johnny Exchange | Mar 4, 2011 6:30:46 PM

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