Hundreds Of Inmates Are Set Free

By: Peter O'Connor Email
By: Peter O'Connor Email

Hundreds of inmates are now free thanks to a cost saving decision by the state of Kentucky.

WYMT's Peter O'Connor talked to one commonwealth's attorney about what that means and how he believes it sends the wrong message.

Letcher County Commonwealth's Attorney Edison Banks says he is worried the states decision to release more than 800 inmates will send the wrong message to the community and to criminals.

Lawmakers approved several measures this year to reduce the cost of housing inmates, including quicker consideration of parole and time off for good behavior.

The new policy is to help cut costs and reduce overcrowding in jails and prisons.

Letcher County Commonwealth Attorney Edison Banks says the move tells criminals they can do whatever they want and only face minimum penalties and at the same time tells the community the streets may not be as safe as they could be.

“If you have 20 different theft charges they are still considered d felonies. That person is probably not some one you want out in 6 months or less,” Edison Banks, Letcher County Commonwealth Attorney said.

In Whitesburg the Letcher County jail officials say they've released 3 inmates so far.

Banks remains skeptical that the new policies from Frankfort will work.

Attorney general Jack Conway's office released a statement that said public safety is their number priority. "Prosecutors are very concerned about the budget provision affecting parolees. Some of these defendants have committed serious crimes, and the public and prosecutors expect them to serve the maximum time available according to Kentucky statutes."

“They are looking for ways to because the crowding at the jails and prisons. They are looking for anyway that they can turn them out as quickly as they can,” Banks said.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Dr. Blankenship Location: Eagle, Idaho on Jul 11, 2008 at 07:38 AM
    Mr. Banks is pandering to the people by playing the fear card. Locking people up is no guarantee of public safety. The majority of people in jail and prison are nonviolent offenders. Treatment is proven to reduce recidivism.
  • by why Location: not on Jul 10, 2008 at 08:44 PM
    let them all go an let us all pack heat an do away with lawyers an judge an the pigs
  • by Disgusted Location: Frankfort on Jul 10, 2008 at 10:32 AM
    Kentucky should not let any criminal that has been convicted and sent to prison. if there is over crowding, then start executing the murders, rapist and child molesters. make room for the theives,drug dealers and others.
  • by PO Location: HERE on Jul 10, 2008 at 08:59 AM
  • by Will Location: Whitesburg on Jul 10, 2008 at 08:20 AM
    Edison Banks is the type of person who would set a murderer free and lock you up for 10 years for having a joint in your pocket.
  • by tabatha Location: frankfort on Jul 10, 2008 at 07:51 AM
    PEOPLE Cchange and thats that- - if people dont stop bashing people yea you might think if they let some people out the world is going to go bad (get real) if you had a loved one in thier youd probly be happy as ever
  • by this Location: shame on Jul 10, 2008 at 07:25 AM
    what are we going to do now if they keep this stuff up they will be taxed when they get out an man or woman wont be able to leave thier house an if you think its bad now just wait till thier all set free jesus please help us theys alot of people seekin you please help me pray hard about this I no I should not judge but I do think whats rite
  • by MAD Location: EKY on Jul 10, 2008 at 05:21 AM
    This is a real tragedy. Don't give them so many perks and we can afford to keep them in jail. Just tell the cops to quit arresting people and close the courthouse doors. We don't need juries or judges, because we're not going to keep them any way!
  • by Billy Location: Pikeville on Jul 10, 2008 at 05:01 AM
    We are locking too many people.Ky has become a police state.Its no longer safe for people to walk the streets.We have so many laws no one can be sure if they are breaking a law or not.In kentucky if disagree with the state,or county, you are jailed.Crime has nothing to do with it.Ky. has no justice or fairness in its court house's,or goverment.This state has become a dangerous place to live,for the every day Joe.
  • by Calvin Location: Salyersville on Jul 10, 2008 at 04:47 AM
    Just pay attention and see if crime doesnt immediately spike upwards. Sad but real. State saves money, but you loose when those crimials show up at your door step. Take that from first hand experience.
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