Prisoners in Kentucky brought suit in several different cases, which were consolidated when brought before the Supreme Court of Kentucky, alleging that the controlled intake procedure established by the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet (KCC), the state agency responsible for the classification, ...
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Prisoners in Kentucky brought suit in several different cases, which were consolidated when brought before the Supreme Court of Kentucky, alleging that the controlled intake procedure established by the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet (KCC), the state agency responsible for the classification, segregation and transfer of prisoners in state penal institutions, violated the Kentucky Constitution, §254, and certain other statutes. The controlled intake procedure was an internal policy formulated by the KCC to control the intake of prisoners into state custody. The purpose of the controlled intake policy was to reduce overcrowded conditions that existed in some state penal facilities. This plan refused to accept transfer of state prisoners from the local county jails to state penal facilities except on a space-available basis. The plan also provided a prisoner assessment and classification procedure to regulate the decision as to when to accept state prisoners. The prisoners argued that the arrangement violated their rights to be housed within the state prison system.
The Supreme Court of Kentucky (Justice Leibson) held that the constitutional and statutory scheme mandated the KCC to accept delivery of all convicted felons who had been ordered committed to its care. Campbell County v. Com. Kentucky Corrections Cabinet, 762 S.W.2d 6 (Ky. 1988). The Supreme Court further found that a contempt remedy was appropriate to force the KCC to accept transfer of prisoners from county jails and that state prisoners should not be refused an order compelling transfer into the state penal system beyond 45 days. The Court referred to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Tate v. Frey, 735 F.2d 986 (6th Cir. 1984), (JC-KY-001), which emphasized the responsibility imposed by the Kentucky Constitution on the state prison system to take custody of convicted felons and to supervise their care. That decision held that the state government cannot shift the burden for overcrowding in prisons to the local level. In a dissenting opinion in Campbell, Justice Vance dissented to those parts of the opinion that required the transfer of prisoners from county jails where the county is agreeable to housing the prisoners.
No docket is available for this case on PACER because it arose in state court.Tom Madison - 04/02/2006