Dem Governor Gets Backlash After Report Shows Whopping 70% of Criminals Released for COVID Reoffended

During the early months of the 2020 COVID pandemic lockdowns, Kentucky was one of the states that came up with a plan to release prisoners early to bring down the prison population, presumably to limit the spread of the disease. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear commuted the sentences for “medically vulnerable” inmates and those who had less than five years left to serve, WBKO-TV reported at the time. The inmates were screened “to ensure they had not been convicted of violent crimes or sex offenses,” the outlet reported. The state repeated the action in August of the same year, with Beshear proclaiming to news media, “I believe the last round of commutations was fairly successful at getting people back in society and making sure they are healthy, and we are looking for the same here,” according to WBKO. “I wish each of those individuals a better life moving forward, one that is constructive, one that they can find purpose in, whether that be faith, family or a good job,” the governor said. “Let’s help make sure we can work with these individuals and give second chances.” Unfortunately, it appears Beshear’s wish did not come true. The vast majority of those released apparently went right back to their life of crime, according to a report issued by the state last month. “Approximately 70% of the released criminals went on to commit crimes, with 50% committing felonies within a year,” Claire O’Hare wrote in a piece for America Insider. The report was conducted by the Kentucky Department of Information and Technology Service at the request of Republican state Rep. Kevin Bratcher. The department obtained datasets for the prisoners, complete with case numbers and dates of birth, released on April 3 and Aug. 24 of 2020. “CourtNet was queried a second time for any criminal cases subsequently filed in District or Circuit Court in which the defendant’s criminal history key matched a criminal history key identified as described above and in which the case filing date was later than the indicated commutation date,” the report explained. For the group released on April 3, the report found 51 percent, or 590 of the 1,160 cases, committed new felonies. Another 14 percent, or 168, committed new misdemeanors.   Of the 542 cases reviewed of inmates released Aug. 24, 54 percent, or 292 individuals, committed new felonies and 15 percent, or 84 individuals, committed new misdemeanors. “The report found that most of the individuals who committed felony crimes were charged with drug or property-related offenses, and most of those who committed misdemeanors were charged with motor vehicle, public order, or property-related offenses,” Blaze Media reported. O’Hare reported that Beshear “defended his decision, calling it reasonable.” She added that the governor was “requesting a re-examination of the report.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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