Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
Kentucky Selected to Participate in National Governors Association Meeting on Sentencing and Corrections
The National Governors Association (NGA) has notified Governor Steve Beshear that Kentucky’s application for the NGA’s Center for Best Practices’ “Executive Policy Retreat on Sentencing and Corrections” has been accepted. Kentucky is one of fourteen states that will be sending representatives to the retreat.
The two-and-a-half day meeting is designed to educate teams of senior-level policymakers on emerging research and promising practices to better manage corrections populations and reduce expenditures, according to the NGA.
“This is an excellent opportunity for our team to gain even greater knowledge about other options and alternatives that can help ease our prison population problems while assuring public safety,” said Gov. Beshear. “I believe we are well on our way to finding those solutions and this retreat should enhance our ability to reach those goals.”
The Beshear administration’s application to participate received the full support of both House and Senate leadership. The growing prison population in Kentucky and the rising costs to house prisoners has been noted as an issue the governor and lawmakers want addressed quickly. The administration has already started the task of finding alternative sentencing guidelines and addressing the overcrowding issue through the Kentucky Criminal Justice Council.
Justice and Public Safety Secretary J. Michael Brown said the NGA retreat will offer even greater insight into how others are dealing with this issue. “Recent reports such as the Pew Report have highlighted Kentucky’s unenviable distinction of leading the country in the rate of increase of our inmate population, which has caused a financial drain on the commonwealth,” said Secretary Brown. “I look forward to the opportunity to work with leaders from across the country to develop strategies for containing these corrections costs, without compromising the safety of our communities.”
Kentucky houses more than 22,600 offenders, topping the nation with a twelve percent increase in prison population in 2007. An estimated $454 million in general fund dollars are spent to support the corrections system in Kentucky. The retreat will be held in Jacksonville, Fl., May 21-23 and is made possible by a grant from the Pew Charitable trusts and includes all travel and lodging expenses for a team of three from Kentucky.