The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Archive for January 15th, 2010

Family and Life Behind Bars

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Our governor, Steve Beshear, recently announced that women prisoners held in eastern Kentucky are coming to western Kentucky, displacing the male prisoners who currently reside in the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex. I produced a story on this that aired on today’s episode of The Front Page. You can go here to hear the whole thing.

Just moments after the story aired, I received a call from a dear friend with whom I haven’t spoken in a while. She reminded me that her son had been at WKCC for a few years. He had been imprisoned at a facility farther away, and she worked to get him transferred within visiting distance.

The conversation reminded me that while we may hear a report about prison re-organization and focus in on the numbers, like how much it’s going to cost and how many days it will take for the turnover to happen, family members hear the same information and think, “how am I going to find the time and the resources to drive seven hours to see my loved one?”  My friend lamented, “How can we expect to rehabilitate them if they can’t even see their families?” The state devotes resources to programs meant to reduce recidivism, but we can’t have a discussion about rehabilitation without considering the importance of family ties.  

Kentucky Department of Correction officials do make an effort to house inmates in locations convenient for family visits. One must consider, for example, the number of female inmates who may now be closer to their families because of the planned move to WKCC.  In addition, some prison self-improvement courses, such as Even Start, do focus on helping inmates become better parents themselves.

I have to admit, I wasn’t thinking about the human element when I produced my report. My focus was the facts, a cold and institutional view of the situtaion. We should remember the impact on quality of life that is inherent in every decision our government makes.

If you have a personal experience with the corectional system in Kentucky, please share it with us in the comment section below. Thank you to our listeners for being an active and engaged audience.

Written by Angela Hatton

January 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

morning cram (boat-loss edition)

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Listen to the Front Page (here) today @ noon.

KY~ Reidland-Farley will take out a loan and sell that boat for a loss. Damage estimates top $200k @ Irvin Cobb Apts. McCracken throws convention board a bone. A Hopkinsville  woman wins a $1m jackpot and her mayor bids for second term. Stumbo suggests tax reform. The senate will vote on an abortion law. Social workers lobby for more protection$. State Auditor Luallen says colon screenings shouldn’t be taboo.

TN~ Incoming senate vote on Bredesen’s education plan.

IL~ Massac County needs a new Emergency Director.

NCAA(Men’s) MSU > JSU, UTM < TTU; (Women’s) APSU > TSU, UTM > TTU, MSU > JSU.

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