The Advocate has just published some very important criminal justice data. The most shocking statistic of all is that Kentucky's rate of incarceration over the last thirty years increased 271%, nearly quadrupling. The overall crime rate in Kentucky during this same period decreased by 19%. So what exactly is going on?
Why is Kentucky's rate of incarceration over twice that of the entire United States? Kentucky's legislature has recently tried to address these issues by revising some criminal statutes. The revisions made were much needed and long overdue, but more work is necessary to find alternatives to incarceration. This is especially needed for non-violent crimes, including many drug related crimes.