Kentucky joins national movement to improve pretrial justice
Kentucky is joining a national movement called 3DaysCount, which is aimed at improving pretrial justice.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky is joining a national movement called 3DaysCount, which is aimed at improving pretrial justice. Supporters say the initiative offers a path to fairer outcomes, greater public safety and better use of public resources.
An announcement in Frankfort on Wednesday attracted a standing-room-only crowd to a Kentucky Supreme Court courtroom.
"I am honored to announce Kentucky pretrial services is joining the other states in taking part in PJI's 3DaysCount campaign," Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton said.
There was no ruling or decision from the high court, but Minton introduced the initiative. Some believe it could change Kentucky's judicial system.
"3DaysCount is based on the premise that even three days in jail can leave many people less likely to appear in court and more likely to commit new crimes," Minton said.
Kentucky Public Advocate Damon Preston said the 3DaysCount initiative will help non-violent, low-risk suspects who are often punished because of their lack of resources.
"It results in them losing jobs," he said. "It strains their family. It results in mental health decline, physical health endangerment.
"This is going to help save families, because when people are arrested and stay in custody for just a few days, the impact on their families is long lasting."
The courtroom Wednesday was full of judges and elected officials from across the state. That included Jefferson County officials like Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas Wine.
"It's a question of keeping the right people incarcerated," Wine said.
Wine said by incarcerating the "right" people, non-violent offenders aren't punished simply because they can't afford to pay bail.
"What they're saying is if the only reason you're sitting behind bars is because somebody couldn't post $500, if $500 is the only thing keeping out community safe, there's something wrong," he said.
The people behind the 3DaysCount initiative said it will start with an awareness campaign and then a push to Kentucky lawmakers during the 2019 session.
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