Think tank supports shift to bail system in Kentucky

11/27/2017 05:54 PM

Kentucky’s bail system is disproportionately affecting impoverished populations in Kentucky, according to the Louisville based think-tank Pegasus Institute whose founders are advocating for a change to statue.

In essence Pegasus has found that Kentucky’s bail system has created a debtors prison which locks up many for small crimes, and let’s some violent offenders loose.

Josh Crawford, the co-executive director of the Pegasus Institute, said that overcrowding in county jails has led to some homicide defendants being released on bail on home incarceration. Meanwhile, thousands of non-violent, non-sexual defendants who are in jail because they cannot afford to post bail.

In 2016, there were 64,123 non-violent, non-sexual defendants detained in jail because they could not post bail, Pegasus’ report found. The group also found 43 “high-risk” violent or sexual offenders who were released after posting monetary bail.

Crawford is calling for an offense based bail system, and away from a means-based system as it stands now. Pegasus is also calling for an end to the home incarceration program for homicide defendants.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


Subscribe to email updates.

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