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Kentucky House Budget Increases Funding For Private Prisons


The two-year spending plan passed by the Kentucky House allocates $70 million to reopen three private prisons.


Daniel Cameron is a spokesperson for the criminal justice reform group Kentucky Smart On Crime. He said the money being spent to incarcerate people for low level drug offenses could be better spent elsewhere.

“For every dollar that’s eaten up by the corrections budget that’s another dollar that can’t be utilized to go after serious violent offenders,” he said.

Cameron said one solution would be reducing the amount of people incarcerated for low-level offenses such as drug possession. He said the state would be better off treating addicts, rather than incarcerating them.

Kentucky Smart On Crime is supporting legislation aimed at reducing punishments for non-violent offenses. Cameron said the money being spent on corrections could be used to go after serious violent offenders. Kentucky has the 9th highest incarceration rate in the nation.


This story has been updated to reflect the full Kentucky House of Representatives passing a two-year spending bill.


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