The district courts in Kentucky have come under criticism from the media and other sources in the community for their inability to adequately supervise misdemeanor probation. The state provides this service to the circuit courts (felony level) but does not have the resources to extend the service to district level. Regardless of state support, the offenses that come before the district judges make probation and other offender related services a necessity.
Most judges are faced with very unattractive options due to this predicament. They can assign a person to jail--if there is room. When they do not believe jail is warranted, they can place a person on probation under certain terms and conditions. However, they have no way of knowing if the offender carries through with the terms of the probation. Practically the only way a judge discovers probation violations is when the offender appears before them on a repeat charge.
It is obvious that the state is not capable of providing the enormous financial support necessary to supply the district courts with the capacity to monitor these probationers. Frankly, the taxpayer is not willing to foot the bill for more corrections services directed toward the criminal element of our society. We believe the concept that requires the offender to pay for his or her own court-directed activites is far more palatable to the public.
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