Kentucky is taking part in a new research program aimed at reducing the recidivism rate of the state’s prison inmates. Kentucky is one of four states participating in the project.
The Safe Streets and Second Chances program will be funded by the Koch Industries network. The project will begin in June with 200 randomly chosen inmates in Kentucky prisons. The program’s advisory board chair Mark Holden said the idea is to begin the process of preparing an inmate for reentry as soon as they’re incarcerated.
“We want to make sure communities are safe and the way to keep communities safer is if you have people coming out of prison who are educated and skilled and equipped to succeed in society and be a positive part of their community,” he said.
Holden said each inmate will have a personalized plan for reentry. Half of the group will receive the individualized plan and the other half will receive what the state offers for reentry. He said the Safe Streets and Second Chances program will record and compare data from the two groups to see which is more successful.
“And then our ultimate goal would be over time if we can scale this up and prove our concept,” he told WKU Public Radio. “We’d like to create a national database that has all the different best practices and all the different jurisdictions.”
The program will start with Kentucky, and three other states-- Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania. Holden said they’ll be working with the Kentucky Department of Corrections as well as other groups, but a full list hasn’t been finalized.