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ACLU-KY asks for measures to improve safety in jails

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Posted at 3:14 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 15:21:22-04

(LEX 18) — In the wake of jails stopping visitation in jails, the ACLU is asking the justice system to release inmate who are incarcerated only because they can't afford bail.

"These Kentuckians are presumed to be innocent and have not been convicted on the charges that got them there. They remain locked in jails and prisons as their cases move through the system simply because they cannot afford to buy their freedom," reads a release from the organization.

The Kentucky Supreme Court has asked all state courts to cancel non-emergency hearings until April 10, 2020. Delays in the court system, says the organization, will hurt Kentuckians by forcing them to remain incarcerated even longer.

"Releasing people who are in Kentucky’s jails and prisons only because they cannot afford to pay bail will protect the health of incarcerated people, corrections employees, and the greater Commonwealth. No person should ever have to purchase their freedom, especially during a public health emergency. We encourage people to ask Governor Beshear to recommend local judges and prosecutors release these needlessly incarcerated Kentuckians," says ACLU-KY Smart Justice Field Organizer Amanda Hall.