In a couple of few weeks, hundreds of inmates will be released in Louisiana as a result of a criminal justice reform package signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards. Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator voiced concern that violent criminals will be released early without proper rehabilitation. But Edwards says Prator didn’t have the best information.
“It’s all modeled off other southern conservative states who are years ahead of us in these reform efforts. So we the impact they had elsewhere and took best practices.”
Prator also said it was important to keep “good” prisoners incarcerated, so they can pick up trash, wash cars, and cook for first responders. Edwards says these are the individuals Louisiana wants to release early, because they have proven themselves trustworthy and did not commit a violent offense.
“Those are the ones that all states are targeting for criminal justice reform measure and it’s a real world concern but it’s not one that should control the policy debate.”
The goal of the criminal justice reform is to reduce the state’s incarceration rate, to lower inmate costs and use the savings to fund more rehabilitation programs. Edwards says the majority of inmates will only be released about two months early. He says these reform efforts will help do more than just reduce the incarceration rate.
“It’s also about reducing recidivism, improving public safety, and reinvesting our money to make sure we’ll be successful, the money we’re going to save.”