Kentucky's 2011 Interim Legislative Report, issued last month, carrys an article about that state's new penal code law, "The first major overhaul of the state's penal code in over 35 years that could save the state more than $420 million over the next decade, with more than half those savings reinvested in programs to reduce the number of repeat drug offenders statewide."
House Bill 483 was signed into law by Gov. Beshear last March 3rd.
The previous, outdated code was believed to be a primary reason for a 45 percent jump in the state's prison population since 2000. Comparably, the national rate of incarceration has risen 13 percent over the same period, the article says.
"About 40 percent of the state's approximately 20,000 inmates are serving time for drug crimes, state officials reported; Those who commit low-level non-violent drug crimes, like possession of small amounts of controlled substances, are the primary targets for reduced sentencing under Kentucky's new law… In fact, all possession offenses—except first-degree felony possession—are misdemeanors under the new law."
Kentucky's new law maintains the state task force that worked with the Pew Center on the States to create the reforms that went into HB 463. It was that task force—the Task Force on the Penal Code and Controlled Substances Act—that devised the recommended changes to the most recent penal code, last revised in 1974. ( Task Force’s Report )