Monday, January 19, 2009

Bill proposed to end Kentuckys Early Release Program

Bill to end early inmate release would cost millions

As legislators scramble to plug a $456 million hole in this year's state budget, Senate Republicans are pushing a bill that would cost the Department of Corrections an additional $8.7 million through the next fiscal year.

Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Sen. Jack Westwood, R-Crescent Springs, would end the controversial early-release program that has let nearly 2,000 inmates out of prison early since May.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said in a statement that "we would probably be more receptive to Sen. Westwood's proposal if he gave us an idea of how we could make up the savings to the corrections budget."

Sen Westwood needs support for this. $8.7 million to keep criminals in prison is nothing compared to the money our state government wastes each year on pet projects.

Get the cigarette and beer tax rolling that will help with the Medicaid shortfall. Next item is getting the expanded gaming bill passed so the horse parks can compete with the Indiana and Illinois river boat casinos.

Kenielle Finch who killed 5-year-old Claudia Wadlington and 4-year-old Riley Lawrence in a hit and run this summer in Louisville befitted from this program. I blogged about that a few months ago in How could the punishment ever fit the crime? Maybe if Stumbo needs help cutting the budget to find that $8.7 million he should put this picture on his desk.

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