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Angela Cooper, ACLU-KY Communications Director

502-654-8227 (call/text)  |

October 28, 2021

Jail in downtown Louisville. Credit: Samuel Crankshaw / ACLU of Kentucky Foundation, Inc.


The ACLU of Kentucky is calling for alternatives to incarceration in a letter sent today to Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Council to improve working and living conditions in Louisville Department of Corrections (LMDC). Conditions in LMDC are so dangerous – for both employees and incarcerated people – the ACLU and Fraternal Order of Police are in a rare moment of agreement that officials must act.

The letter primarily highlights the need for alternatives to jailing people with substance use disorder who require treatment, not jail time. Recent overdose deaths, overcrowding, and a staffing shortage have created an atmosphere ripe for disaster. 

“We know how to make our communities safer, and incarcerating more people isn’t on the list,” said Kate Miller, advocacy director for the ACLU of Kentucky. “We must reallocate our bloated policing budgets to create programs that serve all people equally under the law. There is little evidence correlating the size of a police budget to rates of violence. We must invest in communities and the people in them. We must invest in policies and programs proven to increase positive outcomes for Kentuckians.”

You can read the full letter in the PDF below.