District Court Judge says home incarceration is a good way to alleviate jail overcrowding
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After recent escapes of two Louisville home incarceration inmates, a district court judge defends the decision to put some potentially dangers criminals in the program rather than jail.
Judge Sean Delahanty says there isn't enough room in jail for all inmates and Louisville's home incarceration -- or HIP -- is a good alternative.
At any given time, there are about 700 inmates on home incarceration in Louisville. Most of them wear an ankle monitor that can be tracked through GPS by metro corrections officers.
But the system isn't perfect and inmates sometimes escape by cutting off their ankle monitors.
Officers say convicted killer Andreious Stokes escaped on December 16th and was arrested a few days later.
On December 23rd, Lavon Brown escaped.
Police are still looking for Brown, who they say should be considered armed and dangerous.
Judge Delahanty put Brown on home incarceration.
"If you cut your ankle bracelet off, you're going to be charged with escape and you have an additional crime of escape and it's likely you're going to go to the penitentiary," he explained. "It's sort of rare that a person isn't found in a week or they don't surrender in a week."
He says it can sometimes be a hard decision to put inmates on home incarceration.
"The real fear is someone cuts off their ankle bracelet and then there's a tragedy. They run and kill somebody which is one of the concerns," Delahanty said. "That weighs on my mind as much as anything at all. I'm mindful of it and I understand the risk involved and so far in the 3,500 that hasn't happened."
If the jail is too full, which it usually is, he says home incarceration is the best alternative.
"We can affect a change on the defendant's lifestyle because he can remain free only if no drugs, no alcohol, and he's where he's supposed to be at all times," said Delahanty.
He adds that home incarceration is one of the solutions to getting the jail back under capacity.
"It's the way the community decided is the only way we can deal with the jail population crisis, because it is a crisis," Delahanty said.
And he says it's working.
"We've had a two week period where we've been under capacity for the first time in 16 years," said Delahanty.
Every case is different and Delahanty says each one is reviewed carefully before a bond is decided.
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