(Headline USA) Nearly 70% of criminals released early as a result of Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s policies went on to reoffend, according to a state report.
Beshear released nearly 2,000 criminals from the state’s prison system in April and August 2020 to prevent “overcrowding,” arguing at the time that close living quarters could spread COVID-19.
Following the first release, Beshear praised the effort as “fairly successful at getting people back in society and making sure they are healthy.”
“I wish each of those individuals a better life moving forward, one that is constructive, one that they can find purpose in, whether that be faith, family or a good job. Let’s help make sure we can work with these individuals and give second chances,” he added.
However, a 2021 report released by the Administrative Office of the Courts revealed that 553 of the 1,704 criminals released by Beshear were later charged with felonies.
The latest state report, published on Oct. 6, confirmed that 68% of the individuals released in April 2020 and 69% of those released in August 2020 “have had at least one criminal case including at least a misdemeanor charge filed against them since release.”
Data also show crime across the state of Kentucky spiked after Beshear’s commutations, reaching a record level in April 2021.
Beshear is running for reelection against Republican Daniel Cameron, who has hit Beshear on his pandemic policies. Beshear has continued to defend his COVID restrictions, claiming he “showed people during the pandemic I was willing to make the hard decisions, even if it cost me.”
Cameron responded by citing Kentucky voters’ concerns about crime.
“You don’t feel safer because this governor put thousands of criminals back on the street,” Cameron said. “It’s the main reason the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police endorsed me. They trust me to keep the streets safe.”
The latest poll shows Beshear leading Cameron 49% to 33%.