Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Sues to Stop State’s Inmate Early Release Program
Attorney General Jack Conway today filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court against the Kentucky Department of Corrections to block the agency from continuing to release prisoners, some of whom are dangerous felons, pursuant to its early release program. General Conway is also seeking an injunction to prevent the Department of Corrections from retroactively granting “street time” credit to parolees so that they are released early from parole supervision.
“Murderers, rapists and sex offenders have been released early and will continue to be released pursuant to Corrections’ illegal retroactive application of House Bill 406. This is not only a public safety issue, it undermines the Truth in Sentencing Law and is unconstitutional,” General Conway said. “When juries recommended sentences for these criminals, they had no idea the sentence imposed would be reduced years later.” There is no provision in House Bill 406 that states that the Probation and Parole Credit can be applied retroactively. All parties to these criminal proceedings relied on the law as it existed at the time.
By August, the Department of Corrections had released 1,004 prisoners from the state correctional system and discharged 1,237 from parole. There was no distinction made between violent and non-violent offenders who were released.
“We are not insensitive to budgetary issues; however, I have grave concerns that some of these individuals will commit new crimes, victimizing and endangering the public,” said General Conway. Also of concern is Corrections’ plan to release another 1,500 prisoners prior to the end of the budget cycle.
An injunction is currently in place in Pulaski, Lincoln and Rockcastle counties blocking the early release of prisoners in those counties based on a lawsuit filed by Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy Montgomery. With the filing of this action, the Attorney General requests the Court issue a statewide injunction against Corrections to prevent it from continuing its early release policy.
The Attorney General will be available for comment beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Room 114 of the Capitol Building. Additionally, Chris Cohron, President of the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Association, is available for comment by phone at 270-746-7485.