Bipartisan Policymakers Take Bold Steps to Reduce Nation-Leading Incarceration Rate, Improve Public Safety

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

The U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system in Louisiana and around the country, congratulates the Louisiana legislature for completing an intensive, bipartisan process to pass comprehensive reforms that reduce crime and incarceration rates. Thanks to the leadership of Senators Donald Martiny, John Alario, Jay Luneau, alongside Representatives Walt Leger, Julie Emerson, Tanner Magee, Helena Moreno, Joseph Marino, and Stephen Dwight, House Bills 116, 249, 489, 519, 680 and 681 and Senate Bills 220, 221, and 139 passed the statehouse with strong bipartisan votes and await Governor John Bel Edwards signature. The bills seek to improve public safety by strengthening community supervision, reducing recidivism, and increasing alternatives to incarceration. 

Holly Harris, Executive Direction, U.S Justice Action Network: “Louisiana showed the nation that bipartisan, data-driven reforms to our justice system are not only possible, but popular. Leaders in the state legislature built large, bipartisan coalitions to address the state’s incarceration problem through commonsense solutions that reduce the prison population and keep communities safer than ever. 

“The collection of bills on the Governor’s desk are a direct result of the work of the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, which spent many months analyzing Louisiana’s nation-leading incarceration rate and identifying a clear path forward. Legislators, advocates, and law enforcement officials looked at the positive public safety outcomes from reforms in other conservative states like South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi, to build smart legislation that will bring similar results to Louisiana. 

“While Washington, D.C. is busy rehashing failed public policy, Louisiana is building a data-driven framework for the future that’s proven to reduce prison costs while also reducing crime. We look forward to Governor Edwards swiftly signing these bills into law.”