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Pardon us for asking but how did we become a penal colony?

Fact No. 1 – Kentucky has 12 state prisons for adult offenders and all are filled beyond capacity.

Fact No. 2 – Kentucky is holding more state prisoners in county jails than in its own institutions. Many jails with state inmates are at 200 percent of capacity. Some are higher.

Fact No. 3 – Kentucky has not raised its $31.16 daily rate (per diem) paid to county jails for housing state prisoners in 10 years. Inmates in state prisons cost more than $70 per day.

Fact No. 4 – At first, only state prisoners sentenced to 1-5 years for Class D felonies were housed in county jails. State inmates facing 5-10 years for Class C crimes have been added.

Fact No. 5 – Overcrowded county jails have more prisoner-on-prisoner violence, even deaths, because non-violent and violent inmates have been thrown together.

Fact No. 6 – Several counties with newly-enlarged jails were convinced by state officials to help pay their debt service for larger facilities by taking more prisoners 

Fact No. 7 – Kentucky has tried and failed to reform its criminal justice laws to lessen certain sentences like drug possession.

Conclusion No. 1 – Neither the state nor the counties with bulging jails can afford to build more spaces for criminals.

Conclusion No. 2 – Prison reformers have a mountain of evidence to use to convince the federal courts to order a wholesale release of lower-level prisoners from dangerously overcrowded cellblocks.

Where will they go? 


  1. Loretta Spillman Loretta Spillman August 31, 2019

    the over crowing is due in part to the poor mental health system in kentucky

    • MicroPilot MicroPilot September 11, 2019

      and draconian drug laws.

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