Regional
11:54 am
Thu December 12, 2002

Early Release for State Inmates

Frankfort, Kentucky – As many as 500 state inmates being held in local jails will probably get an early release. Governor Paul Patton says the measure is necessary as the state tries to cope with its budget problems. The releases could come "pretty soon". Patton asked the Corrections Department to give him a list by Friday of inmates targeted for release.

Nonviolent offenders will be the group most likely available for early release. They include about 4,200 state inmates housed in county jails. Most are class D felons convicted of the least dangerous or violent charges. The fiscal year is nearly half over and the Corrections Department alone is facing a 6 million dollar deficit. Local officials worry jail budgets will be thrown into disarray because they depend on state income from inmate housing to operate.