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January 18, 2018

Bill now heads to Senate...

FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 19, 2018) – This week, the Kentucky House of Representatives unanimously passed a measure that would allow certain revenue streams from jails to be used for improvements to jail safety and security.

FRANKFORT, Jan. 11-- Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell (left), speaks with Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson, on the floor of the House.FRANKFORT, Jan. 11-- Rep. Danny Bentley, R-Russell (left), speaks with Rep. Jill York, R-Grayson, on the floor of the House.

House Bill 92 adds language to the existing statute on jail canteens - which can be maintained for the benefit of prisoners – that would allow for profits to be used for safety and security measures. As the law currently exists, canteen profits can only be used to enhance the well-being of the inmates, including for medical, vocational, and educational purposes.

“It was an honor for me to carry this piece of legislation, which will allow for increased use of body scanners, cameras, and other security instruments that will improve jail security,” said Rep. York, the representative from Grayson. “The unanimous vote in the House is a testament to the commonsense, bipartisan nature of this legislation.”

Carter County Jailer RW Boggs commended York for her role in pushing the legislation through the House, as well as for her openness and accessibility.

“I am very excited that the bill passed the House overwhelmingly with bipartisan support, and I look forward to seeing its passage in the Senate,” said Boggs. “It’s always nice to have a State Representative who will pick up the phone and be responsive to our needs, and we saw the benefits of that with the passage of House Bill 92.”

Representative York also collaborated with the office of State Auditor Mike Harmon in developing the legislation. “House Bill 92 will not only benefit inmates and jailers by allowing the use of these funds for enhanced safety, but it will also provide clearer guidance as to how these funds may be used,” said Auditor Harmon.

New language in the bill serves to address a gray area that currently exists in KRS 441.135, making it clear that canteen profits can be spent to “enhance safety and security within the jail.”

“The Kentucky Jailers Association continues to work alongside the General Assembly to establish best practices and meet our evolving challenges. We are pleased to see the success of House Bill 92, sponsored by Rep. Jill York, which further clarifies the usage of jail canteen funds,” said Kentucky Jailers Association President and Christian County Jailer Brad Boyd. “We thank Rep. York for her continued leadership in addressing the growing needs of county jails.”

After clearing the House, HB 92 will now await action in the Senate.

 

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