Tilley outlines to U.S. Senate how Kentucky prison reforms could be model for federal system

11/07/2013 08:40 AM

Kentucky’s health exchange website isn’t the only element of state government that’s gotten the attention of Washington.

Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, testified before the U.S. Senate’s judiciary committee Wednesday about the effects of reforms to Kentucky’s corrections system and drug penalties that he helped architect in 2011.

House Bill 463 that passed two years ago has been widely credited for halting the rising prison population and saving the state money. Perhaps more importantly, the bill has helped divert more non-violent drug offenders away from prisons and into treatment, probation or parole.

And the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee wanted to learn more about Kentucky’s reforms.

Tilley warned that he was not an expert in the corrections system. That prompted Democratic U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island to disagree in light of Kentucky’s success. Then Whitehouse asked Tilley what recommendations he had to fix the corrections system at the national level.


Subscribe to email updates.

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