Law enforcement, attorneys talk about HB 463 effects

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

House Bill 463 went into effect last year, and it's changing how law enforcement officials and prosecutors in Kentucky are doing their jobs.

Some say it's making it harder to put and keep criminals behind bars, while others say it's keeping the public safer.

House Bill 463 is aimed to help keep offenders from going back to prison a second time.

It also focuses on rehabilitation for drug users by supervising those who are released early from their sentences.

This bill will also save the state millions of dollars in corrections cost by not having so many criminals in jail, but KY State Representative John Tilley, the main supporter of the bill, says budget savings are not the main reason for the bill.

"The savings aren't worth sacrificing public safety. We feel like whether there are savings or not they are being supervised when they are released," said Tilley.

But Commonwealth's Attorney Edison Banks says this bill is creating less punishment for more crimes.

"We had to go back and redo eighty-some indictments because they were either no longer felonies or the penalties are greatly reduced or because it was mandatory probation for first and second offenses," said Banks.

Law enforcement agencies can not arrest for the same crimes that they used to. On Monday, Hazard Police officials say they could not arrest a suspect on drug charges due to House Bill 463.

"Its of course misdemeanor stuff at that point, and he had to cite and release and confiscate the drugs and let them go," said Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen.

Representative John Tilley says they have not changed any punishments for crimes or downgraded any felonies to misdemeanors.

He says the biggest problem with this bill is the myths that people have created about it.

Representative Tilley also adds that House Bill 463 has been praised all across the country.

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