Public defenders seek changes to Kentucky repeat-offender law - Louisville Courier Journal
Prosecutors view the harsher penalties as a tool to crack down on career criminals and counteract the effects of early-release programs.
But since 1980, the number of state inmates sentenced under the PFO law has grown from 79 to more than 4,000, costing Kentucky taxpayers nearly $89 million in incarceration costs each year. Critics say that’s too much, given the state’s budget problems.
“We really can’t afford to continue this policy,” said Ed Monahan, head of the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy.
The department, long opposed to the 35-year-old law, hopes to make its most forceful push to date for “modest adjustments” during the 2012 legislative session.
“Our major point is, this is costing Kentucky a lot of money and it is being applied to inmates who don’t fit the criteria of being incorrigible,” he said. “We ought to start to make modest adjustments that won’t in any way affect public safety.”
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