AG presents Rocket Docket funding, annual prosecutor awards at conference
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On Thursday Aug. 25, 2016 during the annual Kentucky Prosecutors Conference, Attorney General Andy Beshear presented $2 million to the Prosecutors Advisory Council to implement, expand and enhance Rocket Docket programs in Kentucky.
Rocket Docket is a program that permits a local commonwealth’s attorney or county attorney to expedite cases through the judicial system. It also allows select defendants rapid access to substance abuse treatment, generating significant cost savings to local county jails.
“Substance abuse is Kentucky’s most overpowering, prevalent problem,” Beshear said. “It’s impacting every community, hurting families, our economy and putting law enforcement in danger. In order to win this battle, we must all work together to support Rocket Docket programs, and treatment and recovery centers that are helping Kentuckians take back their life from this debilitating epidemic.”
During the 2016 legislative session, the General Assembly approved Beshear’s request to use the funds his office recovered from a lawsuit settlement with the Risperdal drugmaker to support the Rocket Docket program.
The Attorney General’s Office of the Prosecutors Advisory Council oversees the distribution of funding, which will be used to support two new Rocket Dockets and 30 programs in Kentucky.
Beshear said Rocket Docket programs provided more than $10 million in savings last year to the Commonwealth.
Since taking office, Beshear has made addressing Kentucky’s substance abuse epidemic a core mission.
Beshear committed $8 million from a lawsuit his office won against the opioid drugmaker of OxyContin to support 15 high-quality substance abuse treatment centers and organizations serving more than 50 communities.
On the national-level, Beshear is serving as the co-chair of the substance abuse committee of the National Association of Attorneys General, where he is working with other national leaders to address out-of-state pill pipelines and drug exportation.
During the Kentucky Prosecutors Conference, Beshear addressed prosecutors and applauded their commitment to public service and the work they are doing to help fight against Kentucky’s drug epidemic.
Beshear also recognized four attorneys for their contributions to the Unified Prosecutorial System.
The Outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney award was presented to Karen Blondell, commonwealth’s attorney for the 44th circuit in Bell County, and C. Mark Blankenship, commonwealth’s attorney for the 42nd circuit covering Calloway and Marshall counties.
The Outstanding County Attorney award was presented to Pulaski County Attorney, Martin Hatfield and Carroll County Attorney, Nicholas Marsh.