Criminal Justice Reform

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An LSU Public Policy Research Lab survey finds a majority of Louisiana residents support two of Governor John Bel Edwards’ major policy issues – criminal justice reform and Medicaid expansion. Of those surveyed, 61-percent say they support the sweeping changes made last year. LSU’s Dr. Mike Henderson says there seems to be support on changing the state’s sentencing laws, because over half of the respondents believe the system is not fair, especially African-Americans.

 

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An estimated 19-hundred prisoners will be released today as part of the state’s criminal justice reform legislation enacted this year. The Edwards Administration says this will lower the highest incarceration rate in the country and produce better outcomes for non-violent offenders.  Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan doesn’t see how releasing inmates will lead to better public safety.

Jordan says the system is flawed from the start.  He says Louisiana needs to take a cue from Texas and begin rehabilitation before prisoners are released

Louisiana's debate over how to rework its criminal justice system is heading to state lawmakers.

 

A study group Thursday approved its package of recommendations for a sweeping rewrite of Louisiana's criminal sentencing laws and its approach to prisoner rehabilitation.

 

The effort aims to lessen Louisiana's highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate and provide more training and treatment to reduce inmates' chances of returning to prison after release.