© 2023 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ky. justice reform coalition outlines 2023 legislative goals

jail bars
Thinkstock
/
A Kentucky criminal justice reform coalition has outlined legislative goals for 2023, including improved support for people with mental health issues and substance use disorder.

A Kentucky justice reform coalition has outlined goals for the upcoming legislative session, including improved treatment for substance use disorder and increased access to charge expungement.

Kentucky Smart on Crime is made up of 14 organizations whose goals are to reform the state’s justice system. Formed in 2016, the group aims to address the opioid crisis and what they called in a statement Kentucky's “overreliance on incarceration.”

According to the group, Kentucky has the eighth highest rate of incineration in the country and is on track to spend nearly $750 million on corrections in the fiscal year starting July 1, 2023.

“After a brief drop in incarceration during the pandemic, we went right back to exceeding total bed capacity in January [2022],” said Jennifer Hancock, CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States, in the statement. “The trajectory is troubling, but there are certainly opportunities for a course correction and a new direction, especially when it comes to how we are dealing with the intersection of the justice system and substance use disorder.”

Volunteers of America Mid-States is a partner organization in the Smart on Crime Coalition.

This year’s goals also include investing in mental health treatment, reclassifying legislation for simple possession charges and reforming the state’s Persistent Felony Offender statute, which is how the state tries people with repeat felony charges.

The legislative session starts Jan. 3.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.