Pew Study Says Kentucky Sentencing Reforms Are Working

Jun 4, 2014


Kentucky's corrections and sentencing reforms enacted three years ago appear to be saving money and reducing the number of repeat offenses.  That's the conclusion of a just-released report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Adam Gelb is the Director of the Public Safety Performance Project with Pew.  "The recidivism rate is going down, that is the new crimes, the rate of new crimes being committed by people under mandatory reentry supervision is lower than a similar group of offenders before the policy.  So, there's less crime and the Kentucky Department of Corrections is calculating that the policy is saving Kentucky taxpayers over a million dollars a month," said Gelb.

Gelb says average daily cost for a state prisoner was just under 60 dollars compared to just over three dollars per day to supervise an locally-jailed offender.  He says the study looked at all kinds of offenders.  "All offenders, especially violent offenders, need to be supervised once they leave prison.  It just does not make sense to have somebody locked up 24 hours a day, seven days a week and then think that they're gonna be successful once they return to the community without any supervision, or accountability, or monitoring, or supportive program," added Gelb.

Gelb says there was a one year review of inmates released from Kentucky's prisons in early 2012.  He says it didn't break down those followed in terms of specific offenses. ​