Justice and Public Safety Secretary Tilley says that Kentucky prisons will be out of space by May, 2019

01/30/2018 08:28 PM

FRANKFORT – Justice and Public Safety Secretary John Tilley says Kentucky’s prisons and jails will be out of room by May of 2019, if not before, if things do not change.

Tilley told members of the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice, Public Safety, and Judiciary, that if nothing is done, decisions will have to be made to look for beds in other areas.

“If, in fact, if it comes to that, we would have to consider options, again, planning for additional county jail space, bringing additional county jail beds on line, we would have to consider asking the companies that we are working with right now to expand available space,” Tilley said. “We would probably have to make the regrettable decision of bringing back the dorms at KSR which need to be condemned.”

In December, Gov. Matt Bevin’s Justice Reinvestment Work Group issued 22 recommendations that, if enacted, will reduce the projected growth in the prison population by 79 percent in the next 10 years, saving nearly $340 million in corrections costs.

“I think that two that jump out would be modernizing our drug laws to take possession from its current felony class and reduce it to a misdemeanor, that’s possession only, not selling,” Tilley said. “The other would be raising the felony threshold level.”

Tilley said that another consequence of no action or limited action would be non-violent offenders being released early because of overcrowding.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.



  • AllPainNoGain wrote on January 31, 2018 10:52 AM :

    Juvenile Justice centers in Kentucky have almost no inmates at this point. I think the last news I saw listed them at less than 300 in the whole state. Don’t we have about 20 of those programs in Kentucky? Let’s consolidate the juvenile centers and repurpose them to serve adults. They can’t be that different. They all have beds, bathrooms, kitchens, etc. Heck, enter into a public/private partnership and lease those vacant buildings to a third party. And, finally, why the heck hasn’t Tilley thought of this?

What do you have to say?


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.