Report: Money Drives Jail Overcrowding and Expansion in Kentucky

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Research from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy has found that local jails in some counties receive up to 86 percent of their jail revenue by jailing individuals for the Kentucky Department of Corrections, stymying efforts for criminal justice reform and motivating counties to imprison more people to cover incarceration costs, reports WTVQ.com. A recent report calls on lawmakers to develop a plan to completely phase out the use of local jails for people in state custody, in partnership with local governments and the Department of Corrections.

The report highlighted how local governments save money by organizing incarcerated people into work crews. Jails also charge the people housed there a range of fees for booking, food and even e-cigarettes. Commissaries made more than $1.3 million for Kentucky jails in 2018. The report noted decriminalizing drug possession and implementing policies to release more people before their trials could help address the problem.

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