Kentucky's justice cabinet secretary says a 2011 law intended to reduce prison costs in Kentucky is seeing mixed, but encouraging results.
Secretary J. Michael Brown says House Bill 463 helped prompt an immediate reduction of yearly prisoners in Kentucky by 1,000 its first year in action. But the law didn’'t contribute the same reduction in fiscal year 2012.
Brown says there are many reasons for those mixed results, including parole backlogs keeping inmates in prison instead of alternative places.
Another problem, Brown says, is shrinking budgets for courts, prosecutors and others in the justice system.
“What you have is everyone trying to maintain the overall system at the same time their implementing some new changes, those things may not match up all the time,” he says.
But Brown says the law, which provides a solution other than jail time for low level offenses is working. And he says whether anyone likes it or not, it will remain intact for a long time.