Letter to the Editor: Putting more people in jail isn’t the answer

Published 8:36 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Dear Editor,

Our Kentucky Legislature seems hellbent on passing HB5 which is titled “Safer Kentucky Act” but should really be called “Incarcerate Kentucky.” I want to try to dispel three myths about this act.

1. Somehow our representatives think crime is a problem. It is not. Crime is down significantly in the nation and in Kentucky since the 1990s. (See an article titled “Americans Say Crime is Up. Is It?” by The Marshall Project)

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2. We do not need to be putting more people in jail. Kentucky already has the ninth highest incarceration rate in the country. (See the 2022 Crime in Kentucky report at ky.gov).

3. We put more people in jail than 80% of the states in the nation (See the Incarceration Rates by State 2024 report at worldpopulationreview.com). And putting more people in jail does not make us safer. There is no correlation of incarceration and crime rate. In fact, some states have decreased incarceration and seen lower crime rates. (See the article titled “Study Finds Increased Incarceration Has Marginal-to-Zero Impact on Crime” at eji.org).

4. We do not need HB 5. It does not make Kentucky safer. Ask your legislator to note NO.

— Dan Nolet, Danville.