CENTER FOR JUSTICE
Expanding Victim Services
to Meet the Needs of Violent Crime Victims
By Erinn Broadus, Austin Dillon and Moriah Lawrence
Louisville's dramatic increase in homicides and violence has had a debilitating effect on the loved ones of those murdered as well as the community as a whole.
Louisville currently addresses some of the needs of those impacted by this violence through the Victim Services Unit of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). The unit’s mission is “to ensure the fair, compassionate, and sensitive treatment of victims and witnesses of crime.” It is the purpose of this report to advocate for an expansion of the Victim Services Unit to cover services for short-term relief and municipal witness protection.
The Case for COPS 3.0
Unfortunately, recruitment and retention of law enforcement officers is a problem not just in Kentucky's two largest agencies, but all throughout the Commonwealth and the country. This situation is a ticking public safety time bomb.
In response to the problems of officer recruitment and retention Pegasus Institute has published The Case for COPS 3.0. The report examines the two previous iterations of federal COPS funding and makes the argument that a third round could help alleviate the problems faced by state and local police departments around the county in recruitment and retention.
Opportunities in Kentucky's Bail System
In 2016, there were 64,123 non-violent, non- sexual defendants detained in Kentucky because they could not
afford their bail.
Meanwhile, 43 high risk, violent or sexual offenders were released after posting a monetary bail.
Kentucky has long been willing to take bold action on bail reform ahead of most of her sister states. From the 1976 elimination of commercial bail bondsmen to piloting of one of the country’s first Risk Assessment tools, Kentucky has been willing to lead from the front. Now, two new bold reforms can save taxpayer dollars, ensure a more fair system of justice, and most importantly, better protect public safety.
Louisville Initiative for Violence Eradication
The Louisville Initiative for Violence Eradication (LIVE) is a comprehensive violent crime reduction program spearheaded by Pegasus Institute in 2017. LIVE seeks to address the social, cultural, and environmental conditions that lead to increases in violent crime.
Overview of 2016 Homicides in Louisville
In 2016, Louisville set an all time record for homicides. As others have noted, this has not been a gradual increase, but has instead been a dramatic spike over the course of two years. With the city on pace to eclipse this total again in 2017, this overview is an effort to unpack and illustrate the homicide total from a year ago and be coupled with the LIVE Initiative - our policy recommendation directed at reducing homicides. This information is a record of our analysis of publicly available crime data, supplied by the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD).
Gangs, Not Drugs Must Be the Focus of Law Enforcement
In 2006, Louisville was named one of the top ten least violent cities with a population over 500,000 residents. Ten short years later, Louisville recorded 124 criminal homicides, the most in city history. The trend hasn’t been gradual though; while Louisville had 50 murders in 2006, it had just 58 in 2014. In the two years since we’ve seen those numbers more than doubled. The sharp and unprecedented rise in homicide specifically, and violent crime generally, has taken Louisville from being one of the safest cities in America to being one of the least safe.