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Elain Ellerbe | March 16, 2017
After 10 months of digging into the drivers of Louisiana’s worst ranked prison population by rate, the bi-partisan Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force rolled out its recommendations at a well-attended press conference today. Louisiana joins the ranks of 34 other states in the U.S. to undertake comprehensive criminal justice reform through justice reinvestment (JRI), and now the process begins of crafting and introducing legislation based on the Task Force’s recommendations for the Legislative Session beginning April 10 in Baton Rouge. If adopted, Louisiana would stand to reduce the state prison population by 16% and save taxpayers $305 million over ten years.
By examining the successful practices of neighboring states such as Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas, the evidence-based policy reforms would ensure right-sized sentencing, strengthen community supervision, and clear away barriers to successful reentry.
The recommendations also propose the reinvestment of over $154 million of savings that would have been spent on prison into evidence-based programs and prison alternatives that are more effective in changing criminogenic behavior, are fiscally sound, and will enhance support for victims of crime.
With the backing of Louisiana’s key political and stakeholder leadership, the Pelican State has shown that they have the will to embrace change and advance the needed criminal justice reforms that will yield more public safety and justice for all Louisianans.
For the full report, please go to the Louisiana Department of Corrections website at: http://www.doc.louisiana.gov/justice-reinvestment-task-force