Bill Steering Some Pregnant Inmates in Kentucky to Rehab Advances

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – In a state struggling with a surging female incarceration rate, the law of averages – and human nature – make it inevitable that pregnant women end up in Kentucky’s jails.

Looking for an alternative to locking up expectant mothers, some lawmakers are pushing a bill to set conditions to transfer some pregnant inmates into rehabilitation centers.

The proposal would apply to mothers-to-be awaiting trial on nonviolent charges and is a recognition that many are in custody for drug offenses in a state overwhelmed by drug addiction.

Sen. Julie Raque Adams says her bill recognizes there’s a chance to protect the unborn baby and turn around the expectant mother’s life.

The bill cleared its first hurdle Thursday when the Senate Health and Welfare Committee advanced it.