If your loved one is currently incarcerated in the Kentucky state penitentiary system, you may be feeling stressed. Having a friend, family member or partner behind bars can be overwhelming, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the system. Fortunately, there are resources to help you if you are in this situation — including the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup (KOOL) system.
How to Find Your Loved One Through the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup (KOOL)
If your loved one has been incarcerated through the Kentucky Department of Correction, there is a relatively simple way to locate him or her: the Kentucky Online Offender Lookup. More commonly known by its acronym, KOOL, this database offers a simple way to find a person within the Kentucky State Penitentiary system.
To start, visit the KOOL website. Then just input the requested information, including last, middle and first name. The KOOL system will then return results for your search, including current location, prison identification number, and Department of Corrections identification number, and the charges for which he or she has been incarcerated.
If you click on a person’s name, you will find additional information, such as the sentence length for each conviction. The KOOL system also provided a helpful fact for most charges — the historic percentage of time served for similar offenders. This allows you to estimate how much time your loved one might serve for a given charge.
For example, if your family member was sentenced to a sentence of 5 years for identity theft, and offenders historically serve 63% of their sentence, or 3 years and 1 month, he or she may serve that amount of time as well.
While KOOL is helpful, it can be confusing, particularly if your loved one’s information has not been entered into the system yet or if the information regarding sentence lengths is overly complicated. In those situations, a Lexington criminal defense attorney can help you understand these details and help you determine your next steps, such as eligibility for pardon or parole.
Options for Release: Parole or Pardon
If your loved one is incarcerated in the Kentucky State Penitentiary, there are two potential options for release: parole or pardon. A skilled Lexington criminal defense attorney can work with you to help you determine if your loved one is eligible for either form of release.
In Kentucky, eligibility for parole is governed by statute and regulation. Under the law, violent offenders must serve 85% of their sentence before they are eligible for parole. For those deemed persistent felony offenders, Kentucky law requires that they serve at least 10 years of their sentence.
Anyone convicted of a sex offense must finish a sex offender treatment program that is administered by the Department of Corrections before they can be released. All other persons convicted of felonies who are serving time in Kentucky prisons are eligible for parole after serving 20% of their sentence.
However, simply because a person is eligible for parole does not mean that parole will be granted. As a Lexington criminal defense attorney can explain, the Kentucky Board of Parole makes decisions about whether an inmate will be granted parole.
The Board of Parole will consider a number of factors in determining whether to grant parole, including the seriousness of the offense, criminal history of the offender, adjustment to incarceration, history of drug or alcohol use, job history, overall health or illness, education and job skills, past probation or parole violations, and statements of the victims.
The Board may decide to grant parole, set a period of time before the inmate will become eligible for parole again, or determine that the inmate will spend the remainder of his or her sentence in prison.
If the Board does grant parole, it may impose a number of conditions, including meeting with a probation officer, paying fines or restitution, avoiding certain people and places, and drug or alcohol testing. If your loved one is eligible for parole, an experienced Lexington criminal defense attorney can work with him or her before going before the Parole board.
The second option for release is a pardon. In Kentucky, a pardon does not erase a criminal conviction. It does restore certain civil rights, such as the right to vote and sit on a jury.
To request a pardon, a person must request an official clemency form from the Office of the Governor. An application for a pardon should typically be accompanied by at least three letters of recommendations. In addition, a separate letter explaining the extenuating circumstances should be included.
After the application is received, the Governor’s Deputy Counsel will review it before forwarding it to the Governor. There is no hearing for pardons; the entire process consists of a review of the written application and materials.
The Governor will consider a number of factors, including your loved one’s honesty in the process, the seriousness of the offense, his or her acceptance of responsibility, and his or her post-conviction conduct. While it is difficult to have your pardon request granted, a skilled Lexington criminal defense attorney can work with you to maximize your chances of a successful pardon application.
What Prisons Are in the Kentucky Department of Corrections System?
There are 12 adult correctional facilities within the Kentucky State prison system. They include:
- Bell County Forestry Camp
- Blackburn Correctional Complex
- Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex
- Green River Correctional Complex
- Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women
- Kentucky State Penitentiary
- Kentucky State Reformatory
- Lee Adjustment Center
- Little Sandy Correctional Complex
- Northpoint Training Center
- Roederer Correctional Complex
- Western Kentucky Correctional Complex
What to Expect in Kentucky State Penitentiary
The Kentucky State Penitentiary is a maximum-security facility that houses adult men who have been convicted of felony offenses. It is located in Eddyville, Kentucky (Lyon County), and is the Department of Correction’s oldest facility. The Kentucky State Penitentiary houses Death Row inmates and is the only maximum-security prison in the commonwealth.
The Penitentiary was opened in 1886, and currently houses a population of 856 inmates. It has a staff of 348 employees. With an annual operating budget of $20,000,000, the Kentucky State Penitentiary spends approximately $76.22 per inmate each day.
How a Lexington Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
If your loved one has been incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary or another Department of Corrections facility, a Lexington criminal defense attorney can help them work towards earning their freedom. An experienced lawyer can start by defending them against Kentucky criminal charges — and continue to fight for them even after they have been sentenced and are looking towards release.
At the Baldani Law Group, we believe that our clients deserve the best possible defense. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys work hard to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today by phone at 859-259-0727 or online to schedule a consultation with a Lexington criminal defense attorney.