Report: Where you live in Kentucky determines how high your bail is

Published: Jun. 12, 2019 at 1:08 PM EDT
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A new report says Kentucky counties have "wildly inconsistent" bail practices.

The study was released Tuesday by the Berea-based Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, a nonprofit research group. The study shows that where people live determines whether they will stay in jail due to high bail.

The study found that the number of defendants released before trial last year without having to post cash bail ranged from 5% in McCracken County to 68% in Martin County. It also found that only 17% of defendants in Wolfe County could afford to pay cash bail when it was required compared to 99% in Hopkins County.

Study author Ashley Spalding said "Kentuckians presumed innocent should not have their freedom contingent upon their income or where in

the state they are arrested."

The study suggests that in certain counties, people with low incomes face higher risks of losing their jobs, pleading guilty to go home or committing crimes in the future if they are detained in jail. Also, counties that hold more people on cash bail face additional jail costs that many cannot afford.

The data came from Kentucky's Administrative Office of the Courts.

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