Program Review and Investigations Committee



2016 Interim


<MeetMDY1> November 10, 2016


Call to Order and Roll Call

The<MeetNo2> Program Review and Investigations Committee met on<Day> Thursday,<MeetMDY2> November 10, 2016, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> Room 131 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Danny Carroll, Chair, called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. The secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Senator Danny Carroll, Co-Chair; Representative Terry Mills, Co-Chair; Senators Tom Buford, Perry B. Clark, Dan "Malano" Seum, Reginald Thomas, and Whitney Westerfield; Representatives Tim Couch, David Meade, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Rick Rand, Arnold Simpson, Chuck Tackett, and Jeff Taylor.


Guests: Rodney Ballard, Commissioner, Kirstie Willard, Assistant Director, Department of Corrections; Renee Craddock, Executive Director, Brad Boyd, Christian County Jailer, President, Kentucky Jailer’s Association; Terry Carl, Kenton County Jailer.


LRC Staff: Greg Hager, Committee Staff Administrator; Chris Hall; Colleen Kennedy; Van Knowles; Jean Ann Myatt; Chris Riley; William Spears; Shane Stevens; Joel Thomas; and Kate Talley, Committee Assistant.


Minutes for October 13, 2016

Upon motion by Representative Taylor and second by Senator Seum, the minutes of the October 13, 2016, meeting were approved by voice vote, without objection.


Staff Report: State Inmates Hosed In County Jails In Kentucky

Mr. Thomas stated that jails are able to opt out of housing state inmates, but 76 of 82 operating jails in the state house state inmates. On September 1, 2016, jails housed more than 11,000 of 24,000 total state inmates. In 2014, Kentucky ranked second highest for the number of state and federal inmates housed in local jails.


Jails house all Class D inmates except for sex offenders. Community and minimum custody Class C inmates may be housed in local jails. Kentucky jails also house controlled intake (CI) inmates. CI inmates have received sentencing but have not been given a custody classification by the Department of Corrections (DOC). Nearly one-third of the 76 jails housed 104 to 186 state inmates. Nineteen jails housed 18 to 50 state inmates. Six counties housed 329 to 528.


As of September 1, the number of inmates in jails with state inmates was at 120 percent of authorized beds. Sixty-seven jails are at greater than 100 percent of capacity. Six jails were at more than 160 percent of capacity. State inmates account for 48 percent of the total inmates in county jails housing state inmates.


From August 2011 to September 2016, the number of state inmates in local jails increased by 42 percent to 11,196. Over this period, the number of CI inmates more than doubled to 3,115.


In 2016, even without CI inmates, the inmate population would have exceeded capacity in 4 months. The number of secure beds in jails is consistently above capacity. In many jails, when capacity is above 100 percent, inmates sleep on mattresses placed on the floor. Program Review staff observed several instances of inmates sleeping on mattresses placed directly on the floor and some placed on temporary “stack-a-bunk” risers.


Inmates are commonly transferred between jails. In January 2011, about 1,000 inmates were transferred between jails. By December 2015, transferred inmates had increased by 54 percent to about 16,000. Frequent inmate transfers can prevent inmates from completing programs that reduce sentences or lower recidivism.


Mr. Spears said the state pays county jails $31.34 per day for each state inmate housed at a jail. Jails receive an extra $9 per day for inmates in a substance abuse program (SAP). DOC paid $113 million in per diem and SAP costs in 2016. Other costs of housing state inmates in jails are an allotment to counties for the care of prisoners violating state law; medical, dental, or psychological care; jail inspections; and payments to inmates for work programs. The total cost of housing state inmates in FY 2016 was $128 million.


Some jails offer evidence-based programs designed to reduce recidivism. The number of jails offering programs has increased since 2012 but remains low. The most commonly reported program in 2016—SAP—was offered in 19 jails per month on average.


Population segregation requirements negatively impact programming space for state inmates. Jails must segregate male and female inmates. Some jails do not offer programing to women inmates because there are relatively few of them.


Recommendation 1 is that it should be a priority that women inmates housed in local jails have the same access to training and work programs as men. In the meantime, women in jails that offer training and work programs to men but not to women should be allowed to transfer to a jail that does.


The overall rate of recidivism for inmates released from 2008 to 2012 is nearly 40 percent. Class C inmates in jails were more likely to recidivate than those in minimum and medium security prisons. Class D inmates were less likely to recidivate than Class C inmates.


From 2011 to 2015, Class C inmates in prisons were more likely to receive parole than Class D and C inmates in jail.


DOC inspects jails twice per year: one scheduled and one unscheduled. In the 2015 and 2016 scheduled inspections, most jails violated 1 to 3 requirements. Overcrowding was commonly cited. Jail inspections were carried out in written form, verbally, by visual inspection, or through a combination of methods. Verbal questioning is difficult to verify. Almost 20 percent of jail inspection policies were verbally reviewed. In some cases, the inspection method was not indicated.


Continuing the presentation, Ms. Myatt said that Recommendation 3 is that DOC should ensure that jail inspection reports clearly indicate the inspection method used and whether the jail was compliant with the requirement. The department should require verbal inspections to be used in conjunction with other methods or for verbal inspections to clearly document the person interviewed, the questions asked, and the responses given.


Staff visited one jail each of four of the five categories of jails. The Kenton County Detention Center uses the direct supervision model, in which a corrections officer is integrated into the jail population. Kenton County offers a well-attended SAP and offers NARCAN and Vivitrol to some inmates upon release. The Scott County Detention Center has limited space for programming and inmates. In the female section, Program Review observed several inmates sleeping on mattresses placed on the floor. The Marion County Detention Center offers evidence-based programming including SAP and moral reconation therapy. Facility staff reported that it has the highest rate of inmate GED completion in the state. Marion County has some secured housing space issues, but inmates do have access to two outdoor recreation areas. The Henderson County Detention Center has an extensive garden operation that inmates work and the largest SAP, which is for women only, in the state.


Kentucky’s four regional jails are Big Sandy, Bourbon County, Kentucky River, and Three Forks. Regional jails are operated by an appointed administrator; county jails have elected jailers. By law, regional jails are only authorized to house inmates for up to 1 year, but DOC reported state inmates are housed in regional jails for longer than that.


Given the lack of jail and prison space for inmates, Recommendation 2 is that the General Assembly may wish to consider removing the 1-year limit on housing inmates in regional jails.


In response to a question from Senator Westerfield, Mr. Thomas said the Kenton County jailer may be able to explain about follow-up programs that are available for prisoners who are released into high risk drug environments.


In response to questions from Representative Taylor, Mr. Spears said Louisiana has the highest number of state and federal prisoners in local jails. Some states do not house state inmates in local jails. Mr. Thomas said DOC might have demographic data on state inmates housed in local jails.


In response to questions from Senator Carroll, Mr. Ballard said inmates involved in programs are not transferred. Women are the largest growing population in jails, and some jails have limited space and resources to house them. Class D inmates can work outside of jails. There may not be enough jobs available, depending on the facility, for women.


In response to a question from Senator Westerfield, Mr. Ballard said the handshake arrangement in Fayette County is with Bluegrass Mental Health. Counseling and care are required when administering Vivitrol.


In response to questions from Senator Carroll, Mr. Ballard said substance abuse and dependency among pregnant inmates are huge problems in jails. Medical experts have said that a pregnancy will likely be aborted if opiate addiction treatment is not utilized. DOC is looking at all options moving forward. The Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council will make recommendations. Approximately 2,100 to 2,200 new county jail beds will be available in 18 to 24 months. Local jails allow state inmates to be closer to family and provide easier release transitions but are overcrowded.


In response to a question from Representative Mills, Mr. Ballard said DOC is looking at using private prisons.


In response to questions from Senator Buford, Mr. Ballard agreed that the recommendation to remove the 1 year limit on housing state inmates should be considered. Programs should be adequate before inmates are released. There is a gap between the handshake programs after inmates are released.


In response to a question from Senator Thomas, Mr. Ballard said the Henderson County Detention Center has the largest SAP program for women inmates, as well as the largest SAP program overall in Kentucky. DOC is the largest treatment provider in the state.


In response to a question from Representative Rand regarding HB 463, Mr. Ballard said DOC is working with the judge executives, jailers, and magistrates associations. The heroin epidemic has been a factor leading to increased prison and jail populations.


In response to a question from Senator Carroll, Mr. Ballard said the prison population is aging. The growing number of inmates addicted to heroin has increased the prevalence of Hepatitis C among inmates, which should be tracked. Treatment for Hepatitis C is roughly $90,000 for a 12 week treatment. Based on the current number of inmates, the estimated treatment cost would be $116 million.


Ms. Craddock explained that local jails have a higher number of county inmates than ever before. Some jails no longer have room for state inmates. Drug addicts are not being rehabilitated and often become persistent offenders. Parole rates have decreased, while the number of controlled intake inmates has increased. HB 463 included a bail and bond credit provision, though many judges have stopped using this. The Department of Public Advocacy has appealed not using this provision, but was denied in appellate court. The recidivism rate at county jails is much higher than the rate of state prisons because county jails have prisoners for shorter periods of time in which to offer programs.


In response to a question from Representative Taylor, Mr. Boyd said drug court and rocket docket programs are used in Christian County but with minimal benefits. Pretrial felons are taking 3 to 4 years to be taken to trial.


Upon motion by Representative Simpson and second by Senator Westerfield, the report State Inmates Housed In County Jails In Kentucky was adopted by roll call vote.


The meeting adjourned at 10:54 AM.