FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that Kentucky has attained its lowest recidivism rate, meaning the tendency of a former prisoner to commit more crimes, ever recorded in the state at 27.15%.
“That is down from the highest recidivism rate, of nearly 44.56%, under my predecessor in 2016,” he said. “That means Kentuckians who have paid their debt to society are less likely to reoffend, than ever before. It means there are fewer crimes than would have happened, based on those old rates.”
Beshear said his administration has undertaken action steps to lower the recidivism rate and talked about the results. “One of the most exciting, is we’ve increased the employment rate for those released from state incarceration to 57%.”
He noted a study by the Department of Corrections indicated 75% of them were still employed after 12 months and not re-offending.
A partnership with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is another step in helping keep the recidivism rate down, according to the governor. “We’re offering a statewide project that provides transportation, at no cost to former inmates, so they can get to addiction treatment, job interviews, education and employment. So far, we have provided vouchers to 20,000 Kentuckians.”
On another topic, he provided an update on the preparations to begin sports wagering in the state. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is now hiring employees to get ready for the launch of sports wagering, which he hopes to have ready to go in time for the NFL season. The commission is actively engaged with officials from other states and industry experts, reviewing regulations and best practices.
In the initial round of hiring, the commission will hire dedicated professionals to support wagering compliance efforts, including advisors, analysts, auditors and other crucial roles in regulating the sports wagering industry. Interested candidates can find detailed information on these positions and the application process at KHRC.ky.gov.
Beshear also announced the signing of an executive order, calling for a special election to fill the vacancy left by the May 14 death of State Rep. Lamin Swann, D-Lexington. That will take place on Election Day, Nov. 7, and will fill the remaining year of his two-year term.