Bill Changing Kentucky's Approach to Prison Costs Yet to Reap Major Savings

Kentucky’s Justice Cabinet secretary says a 2011 law meant to reduce state prison costs is producing mixed results. Secretary J. Michael Brown says arrests are down and in its first year in action, and less convicts passed through state prisons.

But the law didn’t produce prisoner reductions in 2012, mainly because a backed up parole system left inmates in cells rather than halfway houses.

Brown also says cost savings haven’t been so quick to stabilize either.

Part of the problem is budget reductions to courts and prosecutors in the latest budget passed by the General Assembly. Brown says reductions are causing the justice system to balance overall maintenance with implementing the new changes.

Even with mixed early results, Brown says the law is performing well and will remain intact for a long time.