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.

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