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Changing Faces, Common Walls: History of Corrections in Kentucky, 10th Edition

NCJ Number
Date Published
16 pages
This chronology lists the major developments in the history of corrections in Kentucky from 1792 to 1985.
Kentucky opened a penitentiary in Frankfort in 1799, 8 years after it became a State. Twenty-five years later the entire penitentiary was leased to a private business. Businesses continued to lease the penitentiary and the inmates for the next 55 years, making fortunes. In 1880, a warden system replaced the lessee system, but private business maintained control of inmate labor as late as the 1920's or 1930's. Overcrowding is another theme that recurs in the correctional system's history. Adding cells, leasing inmates to private employers who housed them, and pardons were methods of responding to overcrowding over the years. Efforts to reform the system occurred during periods, with political factors playing an important role.