Hundreds Of Kentucky Inmates Receive Early Release From Prison

Hundreds of Kentucky inmates have been released from prison early, to help the state save money.

State lawmakers approved the plan earlier this year, during the General Assembly. More inmates could be getting early releases soon.

A new report says Kentucky has experienced the largest prison population increase in the nation.

It's grown by 12 percent so far this year. There are now 22,400 inmates in Kentucky. That costs the state $500 million a year.

"The way to cut the budget would be to reduce the number of inmates that we have incarcerated," Kentucky Department Of Corrections Commissioner Ladonna Thompson said.

So since the beginning of May, 513 inmates have been released from Kentucky's prisons, under the parole supervision credit measure.

"There's a large number because they all got the credit at one time," Thompson said. "It's no different from the number of inmates or the type of inmates that we usually let out."

Before the change, if an inmate violated parole, and was put back behind bars, he or she had to serve out the remainder of the sentence in jail. But now, the inmate can receive credit for the time they served before the violation was committed.

Inmates who are serving time for a felony violation, or those who committed a violent crime while on parole, are not eligible for early release.

The state is also looking at alternative ways to punish people that are less expensive than putting them in prison.

In another attempt to reduce the prison population, the legislature also expanded the department's existing home incarceration program.

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