Dozens of early release imates in trouble again

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

They were let out of jail early. Now, just three weeks into the states Mandatory Re-entry Supervision Release program dozens have found themselves in trouble again.

As of Monday morning 75 inmates had violated the terms of their early release conditions according to the Department of Corrections.

They have issued warrants for 23 early parolees, who are either missing, or have failed to report to their parole or probation officer.

House Bill 463 (corrections reform bill) passed overwhelmingly in the Spring of 2011. The bills co-sponsor, Representative John Tilley a Democrat from Hopkinsville said Monday, he's confident the program is working as designed.

"These are individuals that first of all qualify. Their identified of those who we think can succeed or have a shot at success at re-entry," Representative Tilley said. "Inmates who otherwise were being released with out any transition or supervision."

The inmates who qualified are considered non-violent property and drug offenders who were within six-months of being released anyway. During the remainder of their sentences they're monitored by parole officers who may order such things as drug treatment. Many of the offenders granted early release were already serving their sentences under home incarceration.

"Without programs like these, statistics show the recidivism rates are much higher," Tilley said.

During a taping of Newsmakers today, Governor Steve Beshear said, it's just too early to say something's not working.

"We've just started this program," the Governor said. "Your always going to have some return, your going to have recidivism. But I think over the long haul, when we get these treatment programs in place as we are investing in right now, your going to see a real improvement on cutting down on that recidivism rate and getting people out and getting them on their feet, so they can be productive adults again."

"We have spent an entire summer of implementation myth-busting, the mis-perception, just the flat out mistakes about what's in the bill and what's not," said Representative Tilley.

"We believe this is the right move for public safety and also to see, if we can turn that (early release inmate) from a tax burden, into a tax payer."

Starting in February an additional 200 or more inmates will be released under the Mandatory Re-entry Supervision Program.

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