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poverty is the raw resource, 

crime is the extractable product and corrections is the value added process

Poverty as a necessity for expanding Metro Government budget

More than one sixth of the Metro population or about 105 thousand people earned income  below the federal poverty level. About 35,000 males are arrested in Louisville each year and booked in Metro Corrections for a variety of crimes. Poverty is a fertile soil for crime and crime is the raw product of the justice system.

Criminal defense attorneys find that most defendants are unemployed or low income and crime is an alternative income producing activity. Thieves who steal copper and sell to scrap metal dealers, street corner crack dealers, bad check writers and shop lifters are often without resources when arrested and are given a public defender to represent them.

See the website <>

In FY 2010, Kentucky’s criminal justice agencies enacted budgets totaling $909,837,220.00. 

Approximately 33% of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s annual budget goes towards the operation of adult correctional institutions,

20.4% funds Kentucky State Police activities, and 16.9% funds community services and local facilities.

Some  $ 300 million is spent housing arrestees and convicted persons every year.

Incarceration costs on average $ 35 per day per arrestee. Thats $ 12,775 each per year. Providing public defenders to the indigent costs the state about $ 40 million dollars each year 

DPA reports the criminal justice system takes  5.2% of the total state budget. Caseloads have risen 10% in the last four years with 170,000 cases handled in 2012.  33,659 cases were handled by Jefferson County PDs. 57 PDs handled on average 589 cases each or about 50 cases per month. The distribution falls unevenly on some PDs who handle many more District Court cases.

The Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet has 8,000 employees.

The billion dollars spent arresting and locking up people results in ruined personal records that render them unemployable and knock them further down the economic ladder. For many its the continuation of a futile struggle handed down from parents.

Widespread poverty persists in a system where multi-billionaires enjoy lifestyles that would shame the Pharaoh.  Crime spawned of poverty causes political leaders to build military forces of police legions that draw on the public purse to provide the value added product of 'safety'. Kentucky funds millions of dollars annually to deploy an enforcement system that makes 125 thousand arrests per year. Each arrest and processing costs the public about $7200 if divided into the total        $ 900 million budget.

Poverty and its resultant desperate crime, gang formation, and disproportionate race impacts are beneficial creations from the perspective of feeding raw product to corrections and providing justice enforcement jobs.

With increasing poverty in Kentucky a 6.27 % increase in theft and 9.05% increase in burglary has occurred.

The criminal raw product increases as poverty increases -a large impoverished community is an asset to expanding enforcement and corrections programs. And indeed all the agencies are seeking more funds to handle the increasing work load. Mayor Greg Fisher wants to hire 25 more full time officers in 2014-2015.

Entrenched enforcement and corrections unions are powerful political forces that elect politicians and heavily influence public policy--like all agency corporate entities they tend to seek to grow their budgets.

The de-criminalization of marijuana in Kentucky-- a step that a growing number of other states have taken--would deprive these same agencies of thousands of arrestees to process each year. Thousands of pot smokers are arrested each year, and no progressive political force has the clout to cause the state of Kentucky to abandon its vampire like parasitism on the poor.

Metro government announced programs to reduce community violence run counter to these basic economic interests and are therefore due close scrutiny as unlikely to address poverty.

In fact, the Mayors community violence reduction program looks likely to once again focus on personal choices made by individuals caught up in poverty, bad family circumstances and the  history of inequitable racist oppression

In our system a hungry man or a poor one is condemned to either endure  his station or become a raw product to be processed.

And now there are so many more poor men and women.

The wealth of the community could be rededicated in a focused way to provide resources in jobs and training to rebuild community prosperity by strategic economic investment in impoverished areas

‘Hoovervilles’ in Louisville 2013

Cultural changes are required including dis-incentivising the creation and maintenance of poverty as a corrections resource.  Mayor Fischer seems to understand this when he says, 

“Look, you’re not going to arrest your way to a safe community,”

                                     2007 - 2010 economic crime

                        2007            2010            increase

Burglaries       26,748        29,170         9.05 % 

Larceny           69,805        74,185         6.27%


Source: Kentucky State Police, Crime in Kentucky, and United States Census Bureau

The adult arrest rate for all Part One offenses increased 36.46% between 2009 and 2010, and 15.27% during the four year period from 2007-2010.

Between 2009 and 2010, the adult arrest rate for murder, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, rape, robbery, and burglary increased while the arrest rate for aggravated assault and arson decreased.

In 2010, 78.9% of arrestees were white, 20.8% were African-American, less than 0.2% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and less than 0.1% were American Indian.

In 2010, 34.7% of arrestees were women. The offense with the largest percentage of women arrested was larceny-theft (61.6%).

$ 300 million annual budget for Kentucky prisons

$ 909 million annual budget total enforcement

See related webpages

Is Healing Possible

20 Year Fair Housing