Criminal Justice Reform

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Leading criminal justice officials and reform advocates in Kentucky are backing a new push to reform cash bail during the next legislative session.

Louisville’s Criminal Justice Commission, a coalition of law enforcement, attorneys, city officials and others who oversee criminal justice and public safety planning in the city, approved a proposal this month raised by the The Department of Public Advocacy and made bail reform part of its legislative platform for 2020. The proposal suggests using cash bail in fewer cases, raising the standard of proof judges use to evaluate defendants’ risk to the public and their likelihood to return to court, and speeding up defendants’ hearings and trials.



A new report ranks Kentucky 9th in the nation for the rate at which counties hold residents in local jails. The state-by-state analysis aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of the effect local jails have. The report was produced by The Prison Policy Initiative, a non-profit group focused on criminal justice reform. 

The group analyzed results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which compiles data on the health of individuals who have been arrested.


Sarah Perrine

Everyone experiences prison time differently. To Sarah Perrine, who received a ten year sentence for a host of drug-related charges, it ended up being a life changing event.

She has the words "forgive" and "forget" tattooed on her neck. The motto suits her.

She's reconnecting with her daughter. She has a job at a local fast food restaurant where she recently received a promotion. And she's no longer one of the nearly 2,300 women currently in Kentucky's state prison system.

Instead, she's now part of the Southern Kentucky Reentry Council to make coming home easier for others.

If you ask her, that's all because of one moment she had while she was in solitary confinement.

Perrine describes it as "13 cells on one walk and everybody was just yelling and screaming constantly."