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Elain Ellerbe | June 29, 2017
But that’s a good thing since we’re talking about Louisiana no longer being marked as the number one incarcerator in the world. During the 2017 legislative session, with Right on Crime boots on the ground and in the midst of the fray, Louisiana made history through the passage of ten pieces of legislation all tied to the Justice Reinvestment Task Force’s recommendations. By signing these bills into law, Governor John Bel Edwards set in motion the projected drop in Louisiana’s incarceration rate to below the number two state’s current rate. (Sorry Oklahoma!)
The reforms are expected to reduce the overall prison population by 10% with savings in the $262 million range over the next ten years. 70% of the realized savings –estimated at $184 million—will be reinvested into evidence based programs and policies that reduce recidivism and better support victims of crime. Additionally, the community supervision population is projected to decrease by 12%, allowing probation and parole caseloads to be more manageable for law enforcement officers and more effective in rehabilitating released offenders.
The passage of these criminal justice reforms was made possible thanks to a vastly diverse group of bi-partisan stakeholders. The state saw everyone from law enforcement and court practitioners, to prison and probation & parole agencies – even business, community, and faith leaders – all come together to advocate for reforms that are smart on crime.
While shedding the number one ranking is certainly a victory for Louisiana, being number two is not where we want to be either. Much work is left to be done and we must be vigilant to maintain the reforms that are in place. As the lead conservative voice for criminal justice reform, Right on Crime will continue to be at the forefront working to move Louisiana further down in the rankings.