End the duopoly

Mattingly says criminal justice system needs to embrace “new normal”

Currently, the detention center is at 480 total inmates, including 82 federal, 250 state and 124 Daviess County inmates, down from the average of 730 inmates pre-COVID-19.

These historic low numbers stem from policy changes enacted at the beginning of the pandemic that saw low-level, non-sexual or violent offenders receive citations with court dates for offenses as opposed to immediately being taken to jail.

To encourage the longevity of these policies and the expansion of progressive reform in the criminal justice system, Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly is calling on Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton to take advantage of the “new normal” as an avenue to adopt a new form of criminal justice and corrections.

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“When this is over, let’s not go to what was killing our counties and packing our jails and detention centers,” he said. “For the first time in my memory in the last 10 years as judge-executive, we are below 500 total prisoners. At one time, it was up to 300 county inmates that are paid for out of taxpayer dollars.”

From a fiscal level, the lessening of county inmates puts less of a strain on the county budget and allows for the detention center to house more state […]

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