Ky. begins early release of convicts

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Nearly 1,000 Kentucky felons are walking
out of prison Tuesday as changes in the state's penal code take

The changes approved by lawmakers allow prisoners within six
months of their release date to leave under the supervision of
Probation and Parole. They will be given counseling and help with
finding jobs and housing.

The move is designed to cut $40 million annually from the
Department of Corrections budget and to keep inmates from

The Department of Corrections says it costs about $21,000 a year
to house a state prisoner in Kentucky. In comparison, it costs
about $987 each year to supervise out-of-custody convicts.

Kentucky Justice Cabinet Secretary J. Michael Brown told the
Lexington Herald-Leader that officials won't be able to calculate
the actual savings until later this year (
Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader,

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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