A New Orleans businessman, Pres Kabacoff, calls to the state legislature to look for ways to reduce state spending, in the state that is “the most incarcerating in the nation,” starting with reducing the percentage of the state budget currently allocated to the Department of Corrections to house prisoners.  Other business sand civic leaders in New Orleans have followed suit and have created a Smart on Crime program who’s goal is to reduce the state’s prison population and recidivism and consequently their bloated incarceration budgets.

Congratulations and thanks to The Advocate for your strong and incisive series on the state’s Byzantine tax exemptions and in some cases profligate corporate giveaways. Incentivizing business only makes sense if the incentives created by tax savings provide the state a positive return on its investment. The timing of the series is significant given the state budget is verging on a ruinous, $1.4 billion deficit. As the series points out, it no longer makes sense to further decimate higher education and health care to offset budget deficits.

But there’s another way to reduce state spending that would actually be of benefit to the state: reducing the allocation currently required by the Department of Corrections to house prisoners. DOC’s budget is $760 million a year without considering indirect costs such as health care and pensions.

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