The Kentucky Department of Corrections this week is implementing an emergency regulation aimed at expediting the release of certain offenders. These inmates have already been approved for parole.
The move impacts some 570 inmates whose cases have been reviewed by the state parole board as part of the normal discharge process. The regulation is designed to free up prison and jail beds. High inmate numbers in the most crowded county jails have raised concerns over safety and operations. Since January of 2016, the state inmate population has grown 6.9%.
Several Kentucky counties are already undertaking jail expansion projects, expected to increase capacity by more than 1700 beds over the next 2 to 3 years. Plus, the State Department of Corrections is reviewing options for reopening private prisons, but no final decision has been made.