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.


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