Westerfield appointed co-chair of Interim Jail and Corrections Reform Task Force

Posted on July 16, 2020 6:30 PM

The Senate Majority Caucus has announced its task force appointments for the 2020 Interim of the Kentucky General Assembly. Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Crofton) has been appointed to serve as Co-Chairman of the Jail and Corrections Reform Task Force. He will also serve as a member of the Judicial Structuring and Redistricting Task Force.

Task Force duties will include but are not limited to:

Jail and Corrections Reform Task Force - Analysis of existing jail and correctional facilities, adequacy, management, personnel, other costs, pretrial and post-conviction incarceration data, and incarcerated populations matters.

Judicial Structuring and Redistricting Task Force – Study of the Judicial Branch and the effect(s) it has on the administration of justice, determination of the impact of venues in the resolution of cases, management of caseloads, redistricting of judicial districts to address population disparities, as well as improvements in efficiency through possible restructuring or realignment of the judiciary.

"It is important that we frequently examine and identify issues within our judicial and correctional systems here in the Commonwealth. Our jail and prison populations present a number of challenges, and our statewide court system has not been redistricted since the modern court system was created in 1975, harming people’s access to the courts. Clearly, there is always room for improvement," said Senator Westerfield, “and the COVID-19 crisis compounds these issues.

“Therefore, it is timely that Kentucky's judicial, legal, and law enforcement communities review current structures and recognize places to improve both the court and correctional systems. The findings and recommendations of these groups will help ensure responsible and effective change. My experience as an attorney and as Senate Judiciary Chairman has provided invaluable insight into some of the areas of improvement needed within our jail and correction facilities. I am eager to get to work in preparation for the 2021 Legislative Session and am grateful to serve in these capacities."

Task Force meetings will occur at least once per month during the 2020 Interim of the General Assembly. By December 1, 2020, they will submit findings, recommendations, and any proposed legislation to the Legislative Research Commission to refer to the appropriate committee or committees.

Chairman Westerfield will preside over the first meeting of the Jail and Corrections Reform Task Force, scheduled to meet in Frankfort on Friday, July 31, 2020, at 10 a.m. EST. The schedule for the Judicial Structuring and Redistricting Task Force is TBD.

To learn more about the Kentucky General Assembly, please visit the Legislative Research Commission's website at www.legislature.ky.gov. # # # Note:

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