Minutes of the 4th Meeting of the 2010 Interim  Committee    September 8, 2010

Present were:

Members: Senator Tom Jensen, Co-Chair; Representative John Tilley, Co-Chair; Secretary J. Michael Brown, Tom Handy, Chief Justice John D Minton, Jr., J. Guthrie True, and Hon. Tommy Turner.

Guests: Wayne Ross, Shepherds Shelter; Paul Braden, Circuit Judge, Corbin; Bill Patrick, County Attorney’s Association; Bill Doll, KY Medical Association; Mike Vance; Lucas Vance; Betsy Helm and Bruce McMichael, Louisville Metro Govern- ment; Charles George, KY Chamber of Commerce; Janice Steele, Common- wealth’s Attorney, Corbin; Chris Cohron, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Bowling Green; Ed Monahan and Laura Plummer, Department of Public Advocacy; Jenifer Noland, Wescare; Ron Geoghegan, McCarthy Strategic Solutions; and Lawrence Kuhl, Laurel County Judge-Executive.

LRC Staff: Norman Lawson Jr., Jon Grate, Joanna Decker, Ray Debolt, Jr., and Rebecca Crawley.

                                                                 2009  KENTUCKY CRIMINAL STATISTICS

The first speaker was Mr. James Austin from the JFA Institute who made a presentation on Kentucky criminal justice statistics and predictions for prison population growth. Mr. Austin said his preliminary pro- jections were based on demograph- ics, crime, arrests, court processing, and correctional policies, presented by gender and various offense groups, and the final projections were sub- ject to changes made by the General Assembly and the actions of state agencies.

Mr. Austin said since 1960, Kentucky’s crime rate has been less than the national crime rate, the U.S. and Kentucky violent and other crime rates peaked in 1991 and 1992, and the Kentucky violent crime rate, although lower than the national average, has risen slightly recently.

Based on Kentucky statistics, he concluded that length of stay is not a significant cost driver because it is declining and below the national average, but the administrative costs of processing inmates in and out of the system is an increased cost;

there has been a

•marked increase in the number of arrests and court cases, most of the arrests are

         for drug offenses and “other” offenses,

•there has been an increasing number of adult arrests,

•an increasing number of law enforcement personnel, and

•an increase in felony court dispositions with a high prison disposition rate of 60 percent coupled with low use of probation is a significant cost driver;

there is a considerable variation in prison disposition rate by county; there is a very high local jail population which is twice the national average; the number of inmates returned to prison for technical parole violations is high; and the non-violent prison population groups are high. He said changes in these trends that meet other state practices would lower the current prison population by 4,000-5,000 inmates.

Mr. Austin said one of the largest cost drivers of the Kentucky prison population is the high adult arrest rate which has increased rapidly in recent years and is currently 900 per 100,000 population, as compared with a national average of 600 per 100,000 population.

Since 2001,

adult arrests have increased by 32 percent,

•drug arrests have increased by 70 percent •and Part II, All Other Arrests, increased dramatically by 375 percent.

He noted there has been a 32 percent increase in the number of law enforcement officers during the same time period, which increases the number of arrests.

Mr. Austin said length of stay is not a major cost driver of the Ken- tucky prison population because the average is relatively short com- pared to other states. The average decreased from 1.9 years in 1999, to 1.4 in 2010, which is significant- ly lower than the national average of 2.5 years. But he said there is a significant cost associated with processing new inmates in and out of the system. He said District Court felony and misdemeanor dispositions decreased from 2000-2008, while Circuit Court felony dispositions increased, averaging 60 percent.

There is a wide disparity of prison disposition rates by county ranging from 85 percent in Boyle County to 3 per- cent in Carroll County in 2009.

In 2009 Circuit Courts sent 63 percent of convicted offenders to prison, 12 percent to jail, 23 percent were granted probation, and 1 percent had other dispositions.

Mr. Austin said there has been a dramatic increase in the number of state prisoners housed in the county jail system, one of the highest in the nation.

In Kentucky 34 percent of felony offenders sent to prison are actually housed in county jails, sec- ond only to Louisiana which houses 46 percent of its state prisoners in county jails. The national average is 6 percent. He noted Louisiana and Kentucky have similar funding structures which pay jails a per diem to house state inmates.

The Kentucky jail population increased from 3,850 prisoners in 2000 to 7,347 in 2008, making it a significant cost driver in the corrections system.

Another driver of prison population is the parole grant rate. In FY 2000, the parole grant rate was 25 percent, with 36 percent deferment, and 39 percent serve out. In FY 2010 the parole rate was 53 percent, with 28 percent deferment, and 19 per- cent serve out.

Mr. Austin said the higher parole grant rate has helped lower the prison population. Also, the high number of persons violating parole or probation is a significant cost driver of the prison population. He said approximately 30 per- cent of the new admissions to prison (2,700) are parole violations and it is estimated another 25-30 percent (2,000-3,000) are probation viola- tions, accounting for 55-60 percent of new prison admissions (14,361 in 2010) yearly.

Senator Jensen asked what con- stituted a technical parole violation. Mr. Austin said it is a legal defini- tion meaning a person is returned to prison by the Parole Board for violat- ing their parole conditions. He said many times when a parolee com- mits a new crime, the prosecutor will drop the charges in lieu of the parole violation, effectively transfer- ring the cost of housing the prisoner from the county to the state. He said parole violators generally spend 8-12 months in prison before they are re- leased again.

Mr. Austin said further research is needed to determine exactly what constitutes a technical violation of probation and parole under Kentucky law. He said other states have implemented good time credits and incentives for persons on probation and parole and it has successfully helped lower the new prison admissions rate. He predicted Kentucky’s prison population will rise slowly over the next years and the current population of 20,763 will increase to 22,132 by 2020 if present trends continue. Mr. True said the data showing more arrests and lower case dispositions probably reflects charges dropped by prosecutors.

Reprinted from the 2010 Interim Legislative Record available online from the Legislative Research Commission website:

                                            2009 KENTUCKY Arrests  statewide

largest percent of all arrests narcotics law violations                61,705 arrests         16.5% of state total

Jefferson County adult arrests for narcotics                             9,832 adult     389  juvenile     Total  10,222

KIPDA multi-county regions

                       Opium or cocaine  1,856 arrests     marijuana arrests   7,809                  Total KIPDA 12,466

Jefferson         Opium or cocaine 1,735                 marijuana arrests   7,009

DUI arrests                      33,089      8.8% of total

Sworn Law officers in Louisville     1,046 male   160  female

Over the last thirty years, Kentucky’s crime rate has remained virtually flat, increasing by approximately three percent; however its incarceration rate has increased by 600 percent in the same timeframe. Kentucky’s growing prison population of over 21,000 inmates was estimated to cost over $400 million at the end of the biennium. 

Dec 2008 - Report to Governor    by     Justice Cabinet Secretary Michael Brown 

See the 2009 arrest report statistics at

Tackling Disproportionate Minority Confinement:

An Evaluation of Louisville Metro’s Efforts to Reduce DMC Using the Burns Institute Model

Georgiana Hernández, Ed.D.

Matthew S. Fitzgerald

“IN 2003, LOUISVILLE-JEFFERSON COUNTY METRO (Louisville Metro) launched a DMC reduction initiative with technical assistance from the W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI), a national leader in the field of juvenile justice reform. Louisville Metro was the ninth jurisdiction in the country to implement the BI model, designed as a three-year initiative to build jurisdictions’ capacity to reduce disproportionate minority confinement (DMC). The goal of BI’s DMC reduction model is to build jurisdictions’ capacity to address the problem of overrepresentation of youth of color in the juvenile justice system.

Louisville Metro officials were aware they had a serious DMC problem.

In 2003, 1,701 youth were detained in Louisville Metro’s Youth Detention Services.

As shown in Exhibit 1, 62 percent of those detainees were African American, despite the fact that African American youth made up just 25 percent of the youth population in Louisville Metro.” [less than 25% males]

“Louisville Metro Government received an initial one-year grant and two subsequent renewal grants from the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice to implement the BI model with technical assistance from BI staff. BI staff. The DMC Initiative began in July 2003, with BI staff providing on-site and on-call technical assistance. Although the initial technical assistance contract with the Burns Institute ended in June 2006, the Department of Juvenile Justice continued through 2008 to contract with BI for a more limited level of technical assistance as Louisville Metro pursued its strategies to reduce DMC.”

Page 45

“What was frustrating to some stakeholders, however, was the fact that Louisville Metro’s overall levels of DMC did not drop. Despite making progress on many of

the strategies implemented, the collaborative saw DMC levels actually increase, with African American youth constituting 62 percent of detained youth in 2003 and 70 percent in 2009, while representing just 25 percent of the youth population in Jefferson County. As shown in Exhibit 13, only in 2004 did the number of African American youth in detention drop below the number detained when the Initiative began its work in 2003. This reality notwithstanding, we offer the view, as did numerous stakeholders we interviewed, that addressing DMC is an ongoing process that requires a long-term, sustained commitment.”

Graphics of Louisville Kentucky Juvenile Detention from:

Tackling Disproportionate Minority Confinement:

An Evaluation of Louisville Metro’s Efforts to Reduce DMC Using the Burns Institute Model

Georgiana Hernández, Ed.D.

Matthew S. Fitzgerald

Metro Corrections Fact Sheet 2009

Intake Annual Bookings: 46,926

Average Bookings per Month: 3,911

Average Bookings per Day: 129

Top Booking Day of the Week: Wednesday

Number One Arresting Agency: Louisville Metro Police

Number Two Arresting Agency: Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office

Most Common Charge at Booking: Controlled Substances

Second Most Common: Traffic

Third Most Common: Alcohol Intoxication

Rated Detention Capacity: 1,793

Average Daily Population:

Detention: 1,914

Home Incarceration: 482

Total: 2,396

Total Number of Budgeted Positions: 614

Number Sworn: 475

Number Civilian: 139

Annual Budget: 50.7 Million (FY 09-10)

Average Length of Stay in Detention: 19.60 days

Inmates: 46,701 Jail Complex: 13.4 days

Inmates: 40,549 C.C.C.: 56.28 days

Inmates: 3,273 H.I.P: 65.29 days

Inmates: 2,879

Average Daily Number of Inmates on Work Release: 272

Average Number of Participants in Misdemeanant Intensive Program: 277

Louisville Metro Department of Corrections

Fact Sheet 2011


Annual Bookings: 43,411

Average Bookings per Month: 3,618

Average Bookings per Day: 119

Top Booking Day of the Week: Wednesday

Number One Arresting Agency: Louisville Metro Police

Number Two Arresting Agency: Jefferson County Sherriff

Most Common Charge at Booking: Traffic

Second Most Common: DUI

Third Most Common: Theft


Rated Detention Capacity: 1,793

Average Daily Population:

Detention: 1,992

Home Incarceration: 525

Day Reporting: 34

Total: 2,551

Average Length of Stay in Detention:

20.02 days   Inmates: 44,879

Jail Complex: 15.3 days Inmates: 36,800

C.C.C.: 59.03 days Inmates: 3,079

H.I.P: 57.68 days Inmates: 3,275

Average Daily Number of Inmates on Work Release: 226

Average Number of Participants in

Misdemeanant Intensive Program: 311

Classification of Inmates:

Minimum: 23%

Low Medium:

59% High Medium: 13%,

Maximum: 1%,

High Maximum: 1%

PC: 0%

Administrative Seg: 0%

Disciplinary Seg.: 3%

Population Demographics:


White Male: 41%,

Black Male: 34%,

White Female: 14%,

Black Female: 8%

Hispanic Male: 2%,

Hispanic Female: .27%,

Other Male: .28%,

Other Female: .08%


White Male: 36%,

Black Male: 48%,

White Female: 7%,

Black Female: 5%

Hispanic Male: 3%,

Hispanic Female: .0%,

Other Male: .1%,

Other Female: .1%

Classification of Inmates:

Minimum: .17%

Low Medium: .55%

High Medium: .20%,

Maximum: .01%,

High Maximum: .002%

Population Demographics:


White Male: 35%,

Black Male: 39%,

White Female: 9%,

Black Female: 12%

Hispanic Male: 4%,

Hispanic Female: .03%,

Other Male: .03%,

Other Female: .001%


White Male: 34%,

Black Male: 50%,

White Female: 8%,

Black Female: 6%

Hispanic Male: 1.3%,

Hispanic Female: .17%,

Other Male: .02%,

Other Female: .05%


U.S. Department of Justice

Office of Justice Programs

Bureau of Justice Statistics


During 2011, the number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities declined by 0.9%,from 1,613,803 to 1,598,780. This decline

represented the second consecutive year the prison

population in the United States decreased. At year end

2011, 492 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S.

residents were incarcerated, a decrease of 1.7% from

the rate in 2010 (500 per 100,000).

Both admissions into and releases from prison declined during 2011. Admissions of prisoners sentenced to more than one year in state or federal prison declined by 5.0% from 2010 to 2011, or nearly twice the rate of the decrease

(down 2.9%) in releases of sentenced prisoners.

•  At year end 2011, 492 out of every 100,000 U.S.

residents were sentenced to more than one year in


•  During 2011, the number of releases from state and

federal prisons (688,384) exceeded the number of

admissions (668,800).

•  In 2010, 53% of prisoners incarcerated under state

jurisdiction (725,000) were serving time for violent


•  Nearly half (48%) of inmates in federal prison

were serving time for drug offenses in 2011, while

slightly more than a third (35%) were incarcerated

for public-order crimes.

Multiplying $ 24,000 average cost of inmate per year times 1,598,780 = $ 38.4 billion dollars with $ 18.4 billion spent to house drug law offenders.

Kentucky increased its prisoner numbers:

“Twenty-four states had increases in their prison population during 2011 (table 2). Among the 24 states and federal prison system with increases in their prison populations, the total increase amounted to 13,559 prisoners. Tennessee and Kentucky each observed increases of more than 1,000 prisoners. In Illinois and Minnesota, the increase in 2011 was minimal (i.e., less than 10 prisoners). Kentucky 2011 prison population listed as 21,545.

In 2011, blacks and Hispanics were imprisoned at higher rates than whites in all age groups for both male and female inmates. Among prisoners ages 18 to 19, black males were imprisoned at more than 9 times the rate of white males.

Excluding the youngest and oldest age groups, black males were imprisoned at rates that ranged between 5 and 7 times the rates of white males. Among persons ages 20 to 24, black males were imprisoned at about 7 times that of white males. Among persons ages 60 to 64, the black male imprisonment rate was 5 times that of the white male imprisonment rate.

Black Americans were viciously exploited  post-slavery, including mass incarceration and leasing their labor to corporations (See, “Slavery by Another Name” HERE) 

Between 2006 and 2011, Kentucky saw a 30.4 % increase in the unemployment rate for the state black population, 25 years and over with less than 9th grade education. An April 2013 release from the -Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies,

Further to Go: Job Creation in African American

Communities See it HERE

reviews data showing Kentucky is among the highest ranked states for black unemployment and getting worse. Even for those with a bachelors degree, black unemployment rate increased from 1.9 to 11.2 --a whopping 9.2 increase and the second highest in the country, losing the top spot to Nevada.  See Table 11 (right).

Kentucky is the fourth highest in the nation for male unemployment among blacks at 22.5 % See Table 13.

These bad numbers reveal a condition of suffering in the states largest metropolitan areas, especially in Louisville, where employment is highest in segregated west end areas.

At the same time, Jefferson County Public schools show another aspect of the same economic suffering with data showing disproportionate academic suspension rates for black students from the same areas. Black student suspension rates increased from 2011 to the 2012 school year going from 62.7% of total suspensions to 66.3 %. Blacks are only 19-20% of the Jefferson County population.

Jefferson County corrections data from 2012 shows disproportionate arrest rates for black people. Black males make up 33% of Metro Corrections bookings but are less than 10 % of total population. They make up 48% of those held in custody. Dissatisfaction with the lack of progress since the riots of 1967 will manifest itself in destructive ways.