Analysis: Kentucky’s overcrowded jails full of nonviolent offenders

Kentucky
Jail

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – According to an analysis by the Administrative Office of the Courts reported in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky’s overcrowded jails are filled with nonviolent offenders who pose little risk.

The analysis, which looked at every defendant in custody on Nov. 1, 2018, showed that of the 6,796 defendants eligible for release, approximately 71 percent were being held on nonviolent felony charges. The most common of those charges was drug possession, with theft at a distant second.

The majority were classified as either low risk or moderate risk for failing to appear in court. They also were considered low risk for committing another crime. Director of Pretrial Services Tara Blair says the issue is more complex than bail reform.

“We have to come up with alternatives for people with substance use disorder,” Blair says.

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