Judge Challenges Legislature's Parole Plan

by scrosby on August 19, 2008

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

In an effort to reduce the state’s prison population and save money, Kentucky lawmakers this year altered inmate parole provisions. But a court challenge to the changes is now being mounted.

Inmates now get credit for days served on parole, even if they’re sent back to prison for parole violations. That effectively reduces the number of days some inmates actually spend behind bars. But the rule change is being applied retroactively to inmates sentenced before the new law took effect, and that’s being challenged in the courts.

Justice Secretary Michael Brown defends the new practice.

“They are getting credit for the time they are on parole,” says Brown. “So the legislature said when we apply the time they’ve been under supervision to their sentence, they have reached their expiration date.”

A temporary order issued by a Pulaski circuit judge prevents the state from retroactively enforcing the new parole rule in the judge’s three county district. It remains to be seen what effect, if any, the case eventually may have on parole decisions statewide.

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