Criminal justice reform bills one step closer to final passage

Probation Credits

A bill that would incentivize people to get back on track while on probation passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

House Bill 284, sponsored by Rep. Derrick Lewis, would cut down on the time a person is on probation based on the completion of certain education, skills training, work, or substance use disorder treatment milestones.

Lewis said if an individual earns their GED while on probation, they would receive 90 days off their probation. If an individual finds employment, one day is taken off of their probation timeline for every 40 hours they work.

Lewis said the bill also seeks to cut down on the caseloads of probation officers to give some relief.

House Bill 284 passed through the committee with small changes and now moves to the Senate floor for a vote.

Expungement

Building on progress made with felony expungement legislation that passed in 2016, a bill to provide automatic expungement in certain cases passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.

House Bill 327, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Bratcher, would automatically expunge a person’s charges that are dismissed or result in an acquittal with prejudice.

According to Sen. Mike Nemes, who presented the bill to the committee, the bill seeks to ensure Kentuckians are seen as innocent until proven guilty and have the ability to expunge their records when a case has been dismissed with prejudice so they are not held back.

The legislation passed through the committee with a substitute making changes including moving the timeframe from three months to 90 days, adding the word “criminal” in front of records in the language, and other small changes.

House Bill 327 now moves to the full Senate for a vote on the floor.

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