RECAP: Kentucky Leads The Way With Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council

James Ringland Kentucky, News

June 23, 2016

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s rollout of the commonwealth’s Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council was a huge success, attracting widespread coverage across the state. 

Here’s what people had to say about the council, our involvement and the prospect of progress on criminal justice reforms in Kentucky in the 2017 session.

Lexington Herald-Leader: Gov. Matt Bevin creates council to reform criminal justice

“At their first meeting, council members heard from Jenna Moll, deputy director of the U.S. Justice Action Network, who talked about legislative reforms enacted by several other states.Mississippi provided parole eligibility for non-violent, non-sexual offenders after they served a quarter of their sentence. It also provided parole without a formal board hearing if victims and law enforcement do not request a hearing and if offenders have no major institutional violations in their final six months.”

Associated Press: Bevin launches committee to prepare criminal justice reforms

“Advocates hope the reforms will include reclassifying some of Kentucky’s felonies into misdemeanors, or lesser offenses. Jenna Moll, deputy director of the bipartisan U.S. Justice Action Network, said lawmakers in Utah two years ago reclassified 150 offenses as infractions, meaning a person would have to pay a fine and not be required to come to court.”

U.S. Justice Action Network Executive Director Holly Harris was quick to praise the Governor, for following through on his promise for action.

The News-Enterprise: State panel to study criminal justice reform options

“What’s special about this is that it’s made up of prominent Democrats and Republicans who agree on almost nothing else, but all want to forge forward with this..They’re talking about significantly but safely reducing the prison population. I think we’ve got to start looking at these people in a different way. Many are sick and they shouldn’t be in prison — we shouldn’t give up on these people.”

For more coverage of the announcement, check out:

You can watch Gov. Bevin’s press conference announcing the council in full below: