RiceMUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (1/28/20) — Muhlenberg County Attorney Ryan Rice reported a new community service program will soon be offered in Muhlenberg District Court.

The community service program is as an alternative punishment to incarceration and/or assessment of fines for individuals convicted of a nonviolent, misdemeanor crime in district court, Rice said.

“In response to the rising concern of overcrowded jails all across the commonwealth, and particularly here in Muhlenberg County, I wanted to create a program that could address the ever-increasing rate of incarceration, yet still offer meaningful retribution to low-level offenders, all the while giving back to the community through their physical efforts," Rice said in a statement.

Rice noted Muhlenberg County Judge-Executive Curtis McGehee along with Greenville Mayor Jan Yonts and Central City Mayor Tony Armour agreed to participate in the initiative.

For a long time, this type of program was summarily dismissed as being impossible to maintain due to the liability issues of having a non-employee working on a respective job site, particularly the potential of work-related injuries, Rice explained. However, pursuant to KRS 533.070(1)(f), the commonwealth, unit of government, special district or agency which a defendant engages in community service-related work shall not be liable for accidents, or medical, health or other costs incurred.

“With liability issues no longer being a concern for any participating governmental agencies, I am excited to see how we can grow this program, and optimistic about the benefits that this program may offer to not only future defendants in the Muhlenberg District Court, but to the community at large,” Rice said.

Government agencies or special districts in Muhlenberg County can contact Rice at the Muhlenberg County Attorney’s Office by calling (270) 338-1322 for more information on participating in the program.

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