Governor John Bel Edwards will travel to New Jersey on Thursday to discuss criminal justice reform with President Donald Trump. Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Carbo says the invite comes a year after statewide reforms led to a promising reduction in prison population.
"They obviously have a plan to pursue some form of criminal justice reform on the national level and with Louisiana having been one of the most recent to enact these reforms, just want to get an idea on how we did it," Carbo said.
With a federal criminal justice push potentially on the way, Carbo says the president is reaching out to a leader who knows how to craft bipartisan efforts.
"If you look overall at the coalition that supported criminal justice reform last year, you had Republicans, Democrats and independents, you had the business community, you had the religious community, you had advocates, it was a broad spectrum," Carbo said.
Republican Senator John Kennedy and Attorney General Jeff Landry say the governor's reforms are soft on crime. Carbo says Kennedy and Landry are playing politics with a critical issue.
"It's definitely something that's got broad bipartisan support as long as you don't let the politics get in the way of it, like the attorney general and Senator Kennedy have."