97 Ky. L.J. 1 (2008-2009)
PFO Law Reform, a Crucial First Step towards Sentencing Sanity in Kentucky

handle is hein.journals/kentlj97 and id is 9 raw text is: JK nfticky ILaw Jouirnal
VOLUME 97                       2OO8-2009                        NUMBER I
ARTICLES
PFO Law Reform, A Crucial First Step
Toward Sentencing Sanity in Kentucky
Robert G. Lawson'
INTRODUCTION
n a little more than 30 years, America has gone from holding 320,000
people in prisons and jails2 to holding 2.31 million.3 It has gone from
holding 110 prisoners for every 100,000 people4 to holding 750 for every
100,000 people,5 and it easily leads all countries of the world in the
percentage of citizens incarcerated.6 It has 1000 more prisons and jails
than it had in 1980,7 has had growth in the inmate population for 33 years
I Charles S. Cassis Professor of Law, University of Kentucky. B.S 196o, Berea College;
J.D. 1963, University of Kentucky.
2 MARc MAUER, RACE TO INCARCERATE 19-20 (999).
3 Pew CENTER ON THE STATES, PUBLIC SAFETY PERFORMANCE PROJECT, ONE IN ioo: BEHIND
BARS IN AMERICA 2008 5 (2008), available at http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org. See also
PAIGE M. HARRISON & ALLEN J. BECK, PRISON AND JAIL INMATES AT MIDYEAR 2005 (Bureau of
Justice Statistics, May 2oo6), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/pjimo5.pdf.
4 Marie Gottschalk, Black Flower: Prisons and the Future ofIncarceration, 582 ANNALS AM.
ACAD. POL. & SOC. SCI. 195, 197 (July 2002) (From the mid-I920S to the early 1970s, the
incarceration rate in the United States was remarkably stable, averaging I io state and federal
prisoners per ioo,ooo people.).
5 PEW CENTER ON THE STATES, supra note 3, at 35.
6 In 2oo8, the Pew Center on the States (a charitable trust research entity based in
Washington D.C.) reported the following incarceration rates for countries around the world-
United States (750), Russia (628), England (148), Germany (93), Greece (91), Belgium (91),
France (85), Italy (67), and Denmark (67). PEW CENTER ON THE STATES, supra note 3, at 35.
In 2005, the Sentencing Project (a research entity based in Washington, D.C.) reported some
other incarceration rates in countries around the world (at a time when the U.S. rate was 726
per 1oo,ooo population)--e.g., China (118), Australia (117), Canada (I1i6) , and Japan (58).
See THE SENTENCING PROJECT, NEW INCARCERATION FIGuRs: GROWTH IN POPULATION CoNT;NuEs
I (May 2005). The average incarceration rate for the whole world has been put at about 140
inmates per 1oo,ooo population, less than one-fifth of the rate for America. See Andrew Coyle,
Prison Reform Efforts Around the World: The Role of Prison AdministratorX, 24 PACE L. REV. 825,
825-26(2004).
7 Eric Schlosser, The Prison-Industrial Complex, 282 THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY 51, 52 (Dec.
I

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