Kentucky’s joining a national effort to reduce the number of people held in jail during pretrial. In Kentucky, counties pay the cost of housing inmates who are awaiting trial.
Pretrial is defined as the period from a person’s first contact with law enforcement through the resolution of any resulting charges, usually through trial, plea or dismissal. The Administrative Office of the Courts manages the state’s judicial system and is joining the 3DaysCount initiative.
The group is based on the idea that even three days in jail can leave many people less likely to appear in court and more likely to commit new crimes because of the stress of incarceration. 3DaysCount is also looking at creating alternatives to the cash bail system. Kentuckians can currently be kept behind bars simply because they can’t pay, regardless of the charge.
According to the Vera Institute of Justice nearly half a million legally innocent people are held in U.S. jails everyday, costing taxpayers almost $14 billion annually.