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Reentry Initiative Focuses on Reducing Recidivism by Personalizing and Re-Innovating Kentucky’s Criminal Justice System

The Bottom Line

By Jacqueline Pitts

On Tuesday, state and national leaders highlighted an initiative being implemented to help improve Kentucky’s criminal justice system at a press conference.

The national initiative being implemented in Kentucky, Safe Streets and Second Chances (S3C), focuses on reducing recidivism by using data and personalized approaches.

There are 16,000 Kentuckians that are released from prison each year, and speakers said this program aims to create individualized reentry plans for those getting out of the system to succeed.

“This is about getting people back to jobs,” Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley said. A major way to decrease recidivism is to link incarcerated individuals to a job soon after re-entering the community, Tilley said stating 75% of those who get out are going to have another touch with the system within five years.

Gov. Matt Bevin commended the innovative, data-driven work that has been done over the past year to implement the Safe Streets and Second Chances initiative in Kentucky.

“No amount of money is enough to spend on this issue…it is a costly process to incarcerate people,” Bevin said on the importance of rethinking the way the state spends money on criminal justice reform.

Criminal justice reform is a top priority of the Kentucky Chamber as it has the potential to save the state and taxpayers money, increase Kentucky’s low workforce participation rate, and fill the 200,000 open jobs across the Commonwealth.