High Court Hears Arguments On Prison Release Program

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

An attempt to block an early release program for state prison inmates has now reached the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Assistant Attorney General Hays Lawson argues a lower court ruling allowing the program to continue should be reversed. Another lower court ordered the program stopped.

But Justice Mary Noble questions whether the courts should even be questioning legislative intent.

“Doesn’t the act itself basically, if not say outright, clearly imply that, look, this is for now emergency thing and we’re doing it to save money because we’re in financial straits,” Noble asked.

To date, seven thousand prisoners and parolees have been released under the program, which was approved by the 2008 General Assembly. The Supreme Court made no immediate ruling in the case, which means, for now, the program will continue.