Could Cincinnati's CIRV Program Help Louisville Address Gang Violence?

In 2015, the US experienced a 3.9% increase in violent crime nation-wide, and while national data isn’t yet available for all of 2016, the FBI’s mid-year report indicates that violent crime was up 5.3% from the first half of 2015. According to a New York Magazine from a late last year, "The murder rate in the United States rose by 10 percent last year, while the total number of murders increased by nearly 11 percent — the highest single-year increase since 1971." In contrast, Cincinnati, who had a modern day high of 89 murders in 2006, had just 66 murders in 2016, a more than 25% decrease. In the nine-year period between 2007 and 2016, despite fluctuations, the city’s highest number of murde

Senate Bill 120: What’s In, What’s Out, and What Does It All Mean?

There have been many questions and concerns, and a great deal of confusion surrounding Senate Bill 120. This bill is corrections oriented, and focuses on improving prisoner re-entry and reducing recidivism rates. Simply put, if successful, less recidivism means less victims and less strain on law enforcement. What’s in the Bill? Removal of Economic Barriers to Re-entry: Currently, felons, no matter what the felony is, how long ago it was, or what events have occurred since, are banned from obtaining an occupational license in Kentucky. S.B. 120 removes this artificial barrier and returns discretion in issuing these licenses to the licensing boards. Currently, Kentucky ranks 3rd in the nation

What Would Manchester, Kentucky's Opioid Crises Look Like in Louisville?

A recent article featured in The Atlantic, offered a peak into the city of Manchester and Clay County and just what the opioid crisis looks like in Eastern Kentucky. Manchester has a population of only 1,500, occupies just 1.5 square miles as a city, and is home to 11 pharmacies. That’s seven pharmacies you will pass in a mile, and adds up to about one pharmacy for every 136 people. But it is hard for these numbers alone to drive home the scope of this growing problem. To better illustrate the intensity of some of this, let's apply these ratios to the city of Louisville. The urban population of Louisville is around 760,000, and the total land covered is around 398 square miles. To give a poi

Lifting Mandatory Denial for Felons to Apply for Occupational License is Great Step to Improve Workf

Senator Westerfield has filed Senate Bill 120, a culmination of the first efforts of Gov. Bevin’s Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council. A large portion of the bill is focused on reducing recidivism and helping inmates who have paid their debts transition back into society. One of the best predictors of future criminality is employment after release. A study by the Manhattan Institute found that in New York, “statewide rates of recidivism range from about 31 to 70 percent, while the rates for those placed in jobs shortly after their release ranged from 3.3 to 8 percent.” This is why the portion of S.B. 120 that removes mandatory denial of an occupational license for a prior felony convi

Survey Results Illustrate a Divided Louisville

Do the people of Louisville love their city? New survey results suggest that this answer is not so easy to come by. While overall it seems that Louisvillians enjoy their home, closer inspection of the results paints a clear division between East and West. The ETC Institute, on behalf of the Louisville city planners, provided preliminary data to the Courier Journal, last week, from their new study focusing on citizens’ feelings of Louisville. Aiming to get a better assessment of their constituent’s needs, the city planners greenlit this report in hopes of detailing growth and zoning going forward, to the year 2040. The results here are based off of 600 respondent’s answers, 150 from each of

Five Bills We Are Watching in the General Assembly

After a packed first week followed by several weeks off, the Kentucky General Assembly will return on Tuesday for the remainder of this short, odd year session. Of the bills that have been filled, or are going to be filled, these are five that we are watching*. 1) HB 103- Charter School Legislation: Several interesting and important debates will unfold over the remainder of this session, but none are more intriguing than the charter school legislation. The number of authorizers that are permitted will be a topic of debate (states with multiple authorizers are shown to produce higher quality charter schools and higher student performance by numerous metrics) and questions of local funding fol

Report Offers Glimpse into Rural Kentucky Challenges, and Path Forward

“Everybody’s got hope; you just got to bring it out” In 2016, The Greater Clark Foundation joined with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation to talk about bringing back life to the Winchester and Clark County, Kentucky. Last week, they released their findings in a report that can be found here. The two groups spent three months talking with residents in 10 different neighborhoods across Winchester and Clark County. They hosted panels with 8-15 people, where they talked about community efforts to strengthen their homes. The findings in the report provide a glimpse of the unique issues facing many rural Kentucky communities, and a potential pathway for those communities to grow from the



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