Inmates to be released on home incarceration per emergency order

Published: Jul. 21, 2016 at 9:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2016 at 9:58 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – An emergency order has been issued by the Commonwealth of Kentucky due to overcrowding at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections, or LMDC.

The order, signed by Chief Regional Circuit Judge Charles L. Cunningham Jr. on Thursday, states the number of inmates housed in the facility "consistently exceeds by dozens, and on many days hundreds" the number the people the building can lodge safely.

>> VIEW: Full Emergency Order issued

The document says one reason for the overcrowding is that the Kentucky Department of Corrections cannot accept prisoners sentenced to serve time in state facilities.

The Commonwealth says the amount of overcrowding puts the safety of both the staff and inmates at risk, in addition to costing taxpayers a significant amount of money.

To help resolve to overcrowding issue several inmates will be released to Home Incarceration Program, or HIP.

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A list of inmates who are being housed on Circuit Court cash bonds or are being held at the Community Corrections Center, or CCC, will be made to determine who will be released on HIP, according to the order.

Inmates who have broken LMDC rules or who meet the following criteria will not be considered for HIP:

  • Indicted for an offense which resulted in death or serious physical injury to a victim
  • Indicted for an A or B felony or as being a Persistent Felony Offender
  • Accused of violating an Emergency Protective Order or Domestic Violation Order
  • Has a Circuit Court cash bond greater than $25,000 or any District Court bond
  • Being held on an escape charge

Once a list has been created, the order states it must be forwarded to the Circuit Court Administrator and distributed to judges assigned to the cases involved. A copy must also be given to the Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney and the Metro Public Defender or their designees for approval.

Each day on HIP will count as a day in custody, according to the emergency order. Those released on HIP will be will be randomly drug tested. They will also be monitored by GPS and charged with felony escape if they leave without permission. Anyone who violates the terms of HIP will be sent back to LMDC.

According to Jefferson Circuit Court, it costs $76 a day to supervise an inmate in LMDC, $83 a day in CCC and $19 on HIP.

LMDC currently has the equipment to supervise 750 inmates on HIP, officials said. Approximately 600 people are currently being supervised on HIP.

Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine released a statement following the order that read in part:

"This order is designed to address the current jail overcrowding issue. It was circulated at recent meeting of the Jail Policy Committee. That meeting was attended by prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, correction officials, citizen advisors, and other court officials. All recognized that the jail overcrowding issue is a matter of utmost concern.  As failure to address this problem in the past led to Federal court intervention, I believe it is better for local officials to act now in order to maintain control of pretrial incarceration.

The inmate custody modifications are expected to begin next week."

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