Kentucky Youth Advocates highlights the urgency of criminal justice reforms in the Commonwealth

Kentucky Youth Advocates, a partner in the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition, released an important issue brief February 8th highlighting the troubling and growing prevalence of children with incarcerated parents in the Commonwealth.  The brief, Minimizing the Impact of Parental Incarceration on Children, demonstrates the economic and social consequences of Kentucky’s surging incarceration rate, including the second-highest female incarceration rate in America. As the brief points out, nearly seventy-one percent of females incarcerated in Kentucky have a child. Most of those women are incarcerated for low-level offenses.

“Kentucky Youth Advocates is tireless in their efforts to build a better future for our children,” said Daniel Cameron, Spokesman for Kentucky Smart on Crime. “On our current trajectory, in just five years, our Commonwealth is looking at a 19 percent increase in the number of individuals incarcerated.  It’s clear that reforming our justice system is essential.  That includes more substance abuse programs, increasing the felony theft threshold, reforming our bail system, updating our parole system and more alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.  The CJPAC Justice Reinvestment Work Group’s 22 data-driven recommendations would help to bring Kentucky more in line with the 31 other states who have reformed their justice system and lowered their crimes rates.  Our broad-based coalition looks forward to serious reforms this session of the General Assembly.  We can do better for the next generation.”

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