Court Upholds Early Release Program for Prisoners

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

The Kentucky Supreme Court says an early release program for state prison inmates may continue.

More than seven thousand Kentucky prison inmates and parolees are now free under the early release program, which is based on parole credits. And the Justice Cabinet says the program has saved the commonwealth millions of dollars.

But the attorney general’s office is trying to block the program, saying parole credits are being applied retroactively. Two lower courts reached different conclusions, with one allowing the program to continue and the other issuing a statewide injunction blocking it.

The Supreme Court combined the cases, and in a 42-page decision says the Corrections Cabinet may continue to apply the early release program to prisoners sentenced prior to its implementation.

All seven justices concur, but Justice Will T. Scott concurs in result only.