Female Prisoner Reforms Passed Out of Kentucky Senate Committee

Feb 23, 2018

Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Adjournment Feb 22nd.
Credit Stu Johnson, WEKU

A senate panel has adopted legislation aimed at reforms for a growing female population in Kentucky prisons and jails.  It includes standards regarding adequate nutrition and hygiene products for pregnant prisoners.  

Much discussion centered on pregnancy release conditions used prior to trial for women charged with drug crimes.  Renee  Craddock is with the State Jailers Association. “So it’s not like you’re getting out.  It is you’re going to inpatient rehab and you’re going to get better or you’re going to go to jail and you’re going to do the time for the crime that you committed,” said Craddock.

Still, some senators like Jessamine County lawmaker Tom Buford expressed concern over that provision.  “I don’t see it.  I mean you’ve almost got to let them out ROR and say show up Tuesday-Wednesday next week, you start.  But, it only takes her about to kill herself and that child with an overdose,” noted Buford.

Proponents of the bill said drug addicted pregnant inmates would be taken directly to treatment facilities.  Committee Chair Julie Raque Adams urged passage, adding she didn’t think the status quo was working.  “We have a shot at protecting that baby.  We have a shot at getting them into rehab.  We have a shot at having them turn their lives around,” said Raque Adams.

The lengthy bill also calls for doubling the theft threshold to one thousand dollars and classify the crimes as misdemeanors instead of felonies. 

Shannon Stiglitz with the Kentucky Retail Federation opposed this portion of the bill, citing the incidence of shoplifting activity based on current law.

© 2018 WEKU