criminal justice

Nodar Kherkheulidze, Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Matt Bevin said he wants Kentucky to “lead the way” on criminal justice reform and has appointed a council tasked with producing legislative ideas for next year’s General Assembly.

The 23-member committee includes state officials, legislators and advocates from around the state.

Jonathunder, Wikimedia Commons

There will be more court-appointed attorneys available to represent poor people in court under Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed budget.

In his proposal, Bevin set aside funds to add 44 lawyers to the Department of Public Advocacy’s ranks of 333 public defenders.

ELIZABETHTOWN — Getting busted with a small amount of fake marijuana led to a more expensive lesson in criminal justice than Timothy Lee Cook could have imagined.

Cook, 54, agreed to a plea deal in Hardin County District Court last summer that kept him out of jail, but cost him $186 in fines and court fees. He couldn’t afford it himself. Bedeviled by mental disorders, he hasn’t held a job for more than 20 years. His 74-year-old mother put up the money.

Courtesy of John Eads (with thanks to Grecia White)

Murray State alumni are working around the world. John Eads graduated with a degree in social work last spring and is now a volunteer with the Peace Corps, working to reform the juvenile detention system in Peru. Matt Markgraf had a chance to speak with Eads while he was in town to learn more about his work in the Peace Corps, what living in Peru is like, his plans for the future, and advice for anyone interested in joining the program.

Illinois officials say the $7 million announced for efforts to move incarcerated non-violent offenders into community-based programs comes from the state's general revenue fund.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the money Sunday, saying community programs save money and are shown to produce better results in rehabilitating non-violent offenders.