From Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio
An official in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is praising Kentucky’s sentencing reforms for non-violent offenders. Benjamin B. Tucker, Deputy Director of State, Local, and Tribal Affairs, spoke at a drug summit in Lexington today.
“We know from our office and the research that we can’t arrest our way out of this problem. You can’t lock up every bad guy, every drug dealer, and assume the problem is going to go away,” he said.
Tucker says implementing more probation and alternative sentencing will lead to a savings for state governments by housing fewer drug offenders in jail.
He told an audience of law enforcement and community leaders that the money saved should then be re-invested in drug treatment programs to reduce recidivism. Earlier this year Kentucky lawmakers passed legislation easing some penalties for people charged with drug crimes.