Lawmakers OK bill to steer more pregnant inmates into rehab

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky lawmakers have given final passage to a bill aimed at steering pregnant inmates into rehabilitation centers to treat their drug addiction.

The House voted 88-0 Thursday to send the measure to Governor Matt Bevin.

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The proposal is a response to Kentucky’s surging incarceration rate among women. It would apply to pregnant women awaiting trial on nonviolent charges. It’s a recognition that many are in custody for drug offenses in a state overwhelmed by drug addiction.

To qualify, they would have to reside at a rehabilitation center and complete substance abuse treatment. They would have to stay out of trouble, show up for their court appearances and have no contact with their alleged victims or potential witnesses who might testify at their trials.