Call to Order and Roll Call
The1st meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary was held on Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at 10:00 AM, in Glasgow, Kentucky. Representative John Tilley, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Tom Jensen, Co-Chair; Representative John Tilley, Co-Chair; Senators Perry B. Clark, Carroll Gibson, Gerald A. Neal, Mike Reynolds, Jerry P. Rhoads, John Schickel, Dan "Malano" Seum, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Johnny Bell, Joseph M. Fischer, Jeff Hoover, Mary Lou Marzian, Harry Moberly Jr., Darryl T. Owens, Tom Riner, Steven Rudy, and Brent Yonts.
Guests: Brigid Adams, Department of Corrections; Chris Cohron, Kentucky County Attorneys Association; and Martin Scott, Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police.
LRC Staff: Norman Lawson, CSA; Jon Grate, Joanna Decker, Ray DeBolt, Kyle Moon; Rebecca Hatchett; and Rebecca Crawley.
Representative Bell introduced various local officials.
Chief Regional Circuit Judge Phillip Patton urged continued funding and support for the drug court program and described the success of the program in his judicial circuit. Judge Patton said there have been 57 drug court graduates, many participants in the program have had drug-free babies, and only two graduates have committed new felonies.
District Judge John Alexander discussed the problem of out of state holders of commercial driver’s licenses who fail to appear in court after being cited for traffic offenses in Kentucky. Judge Alexander explained when a Kentucky CDL driver is cited for a traffic offense and fails to appear in court, the violator’s name is reported to the Transportation Cabinet and if the violator does not appear in court in 30 days, the Cabinet suspends the CDL license. Because the current Kentucky statutes, KRS 186.570(1)(i) and 281A.190, contain a narrow definition of “moving violation,” the Transportation Cabinet is unable to notify the out of state CDL driver’s home state about a failure to appear violation for license revocation under an interstate compact. Judge Alexander suggested the statutes be amended to include other motor carrier and vehicle violations such as inadequate or missing log books, vehicle safety violations, driving longer than permitted, and similar offenses being added as “moving violations.” Todd Shipp, Assistant General Counsel, and Doug Sutton, Assistant Director, Division of Driver Licensing, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, agreed to work with the judge on amending the statutes to address this problem.
Senator Reynolds and Representative Bell agreed to defer to a later meeting of the Judiciary Committee discussion of a situation where a person receives a second driving under the influence citation prior to a conviction on a driving under the influence citation which the person has already received.
Richard Jerome, PEW Public Safety Performance Project, reviewed the goals of the Project to assist states to advance fiscally sound, data-driven sentencing and corrections policies that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs. The Project has assisted other states in reducing crime, reducing recidivism, and promoting the successful reintegration of offenders into society through the use of intensive alternatives to incarceration programs. The money saved on incarceration costs can then be reinvested in alternative programs and other non criminal justice needs of the affected states.
Mr. Peter Ozanne of the Criminal Justice Institute explained that he works with the PEW Public Safety Performance Project in assessing state needs and providing suggestions for alternatives to state criminal justice programs which reduce incarceration and reduce recidivism. Mr. Ozanne described the national and Kentucky increase in prison population and prison costs. The process works with the court system, the executive branch, and the legislature to identify issues, propose solutions, and provide evidence-based research and suggestions to accomplish the desired goals. Research indicates that 1 in 31 persons in the United States are under correctional control, either in prison or jail, or on probation or parole. Kentucky has 1 in 35 persons under correctional control; and recently Kentucky led the nation in incarceration increases. It costs $55 per day for prison and $2.63 per day for a person on probation or parole in Kentucky, although research shows that alternatives to incarceration are more effective in preventing recidivism and crime. Nationally, 90% of corrections costs go toward incarceration. Alternatives to incarceration programs must be evidence-based, have defined outcome goals and monitoring to succeed, and that states which reward effective programs have better success rates.
Mr. Ozanne indicated that states which have been involved in such programs included Kansas, New Jersey, New York, and Texas and that major legislative changes have just been signed by the Governor of South Carolina after work by the PEW Public Safety Project in that state.
Mr. Gary Kempker, Center for Sex Offender Management of the Center for Effective Public Safety, described that organization’s work with the Kentucky Department of Corrections under a federal grant to provide an improved sex offender treatment and management program. He reviewed statistics relating to sex offenders and victimization and noted that many programs for released sex offenders such as residence restrictions, sex offender registration, and similar programs have little impact on overall public safety. His organization is working with the Department of Corrections to provide education and other programs for incarcerated offenders and to assist released sex offenders reenter society. Federal grants such as the Second Chance Act are available to help states improve monitoring of released sex offenders and to prevent them from reoffending.
The meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.