Kentucky Department of Corrections Interim Commissioner Jim Erwin has announced that Malcolm Smith has been promoted to deputy warden at Little Sandy Correctional Complex (LSCC) in Sandy Hook.

"Malcolm Smith has demonstrated the skills necessary to be a valuable addition to the leadership team of Little Sandy,” said Erwin. “I am pleased to promote someone with such an excellent performance record and the experience needed to serve the department in this new role as deputy warden."

Solving America’s Prison Crisis

Dec 30, 2015

Jeff Smith never thought he would belong to a club that includes the likes of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, or former California Cong. Duke Cunningham. But in 2009, Smith resigned his seat in the Missouri state Senate and went to federal prison for political misconduct.

How the promising young legislator fell from grace and served time in a Kentucky jail is detailed in Smith’s new book, Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What My Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America’s Prison Crisis.

Northern Kentucky Group Opposes Death Penalty

Oct 19, 2015
Public News Service

Self-described political and social conservatives in northern Kentucky are forming an organization opposed to the death penalty. Andrew Vandiver, who lives in Walton, is heading the effort. Vandiver says he approaches the death penalty from the pro-life view, that all human life is sacred.

"In the United States we have the option of life in prison without parole and given that we have that option I can't find a good basis for taking a human life," says Vandiver.

Kentucky Court Report

The Rowan County Fiscal Court has selected a location for a new regional jail. Rowan County Judge Executive Walter Blevins says the site is ideal for their needs.

“It’s the old tobacco warehouse, the one on (U.S.) 60 and it’s the one closest to town so it’s next to Caudill Seed. It’s about a six acre site. We think it’s the best location we could find. We’ve looked all over and we’ve looked at about thirty-some different locations and we’ve looked at those versus this one and we think we’ve got the best site.” –Walter Blevins

Rowan Fiscal Court Considers Jail Options

Jun 12, 2015

The Rowan County Fiscal Court has asked the construction firm and architect for the county’s new regional jail to present cost options for building facilities that would include 240 or 296 beds.

President of Trace Creek Construction Sam Howard says the smaller detention center would span just over 52-thousand square feet while the other option would be about nine-thousand square feet larger.

New Rowan County Jail to Include Classrooms

Jun 9, 2015

Unless plans for a new regional jail in Rowan County include space for amenities to rehabilitate prisoners, they probably won’t be approved by the Kentucky Department of Corrections, so says the president of Trace Creek Construction.

Sam Howard’s company is managing the multi-million dollar project for the Rowan Fiscal Court.

Howard says state and federal officials don’t want to construct new detention centers that simply keep inmates behind bars. Howard says they want to make sure the facilities have rooms and programs with the potential for changing criminal behavior.

Housing Protections Proposed for Kentucky's Domestic Violence Survivors

Feb 20, 2015
LRC Public Information

A bill introduced in the state Legislature would give survivors of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault the ability to get out of a home or apartment lease.

Filed by state Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, House Bill 405 says that in order to break a lease, the person has to be under a court's protective order. Jenkins called it "another tool in the toolbox of keeping women safe."

Webb Files Bill to Reform Kentucky's Death Penalty

Feb 20, 2015
Greg Stotelmyer

On the same day Pennsylvania's governor placed a moratorium on the death penalty in the Keystone state, a Kentucky lawmaker filed a bill to make what she says would be moderate reforms to Kentucky's laws.

State Sen. Robin Webb maintains there are so many problems with Kentucky's death penalty that Gov. Steve Beshear should do what Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf did last Friday – suspend the death penalty.

Massie Discusses Prison Costs

Feb 9, 2015
Cheap Jail Calls

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie says too many non-violent felons are locked up and local judges ought to be given more discretion for handing out alternative sentences.

The Garrison Republican made the comment on KET’s “One to One with Bill Goodman.”        

Massie says putting people who’ve committed non-violent offenses behind bars for long periods of time is extremely costly.

Historic Lows for Executions Nationwide, Zero Last Six Years in Kentucky

Jan 5, 2015
Greg Stotelmyer, Public News Service

The close of 2014 marks six years without an execution in the Bluegrass State. That's consistent with national trends, according to a new report from the Death Penalty Information Center. The last execution in Kentucky was in 2008.

Nationwide, the 35 executions this year are the fewest since 1994. Gretchen Engel, who heads the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, says high-profile cases of botched executions prompt people to question the humanity of the punishment.

Kentucky's Criminal Justice Funding Reviewed

Sep 26, 2013

While major savings have come through the reform of Kentucky’s criminal justice system, it’s also caused a financial squeeze for county jailers.  The reforms were enacted to reduce prison populations and cut corrections costs.  Fewer drug offenders are now jailed and more are in drug treatment programs.

As a result, Kentucky Association of Counties Director Tommy Turner says local jails don’t get as much state money to help run their facilities.