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Will Kentucky's early prisoner release system work?

States all seem to start an early release program for the same reason - to save money. 27 NEWSFIRST researched just how much the early release program's saved states in the past, and if it's worked for them - if it's kept prisoners from going back to jail.

"What's happened to this point has actually been very positive. People are actually showing up in court at a better rate now than they did before," says Senator Tom Jensen, who co-sponsored the Corrections Reform Bill. It's the bill that gave more than 900 inmates an early release Tuesday.

When 27 NEWSFIRST looked at states with similar programs, they didn't have as positive results as quickly as Kentucky. Illinois ended their early release program in 2009 after negative publicity. Colorado let out ten inmates in an early release program in the same year. Four months later, three of the ten were back in jail.

"There's a reason they're in prison, when they're on the streets, these repeat-offenders, we know, they commit crime, after crime, after crime. And when they're in prison, guess what? They don't," says Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson.

Finding savings was difficult. Studies from six different states showed no significant difference between the rates of early release inmates returning to jail and ones released at a normal time.

The state hopes to save $40,000,000 with this early release program.


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