A national think tank will help Kentucky find ways to reduce its prison population and sprialing corrections costs. But state officials promise the effort, in no way, will jeopardize public safety.
Since 1980, the number of inmates in Kentucky prisons has risen from 3,700 to 20,000. Corrections’ spending has risen from $117 million in 1989 to $500 million last year. Concerned state leaders, anxious to find answers, are seeking assistance from the Pew Center on the States. And this time, says Senate President David Williams, all three branches of government are working together.
“I’d like to thank the Speaker for his agreement and cooperation in placing $200,000 in the budget in the last session to help entice the Pew Foundation and show that we’re serious about this effort,” he said.
The Pew Foundation has already helped states like Texas, Kansas, South Carolina and Vermont reduce their prison populations and cut costs, by reducing recidivism rates.