Today, the U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system in Louisiana and across the country, welcomed the recommendations of the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force, and urged the legislature to swiftly enact these policies into law. In a report issued today, the task force called for major reforms to the state’s entire justice system, noting that after spending over $650 million on its corrections system, Louisiana’s taxpayers are not, “getting a good public safety return on investment.” The report recommends better consistency in sentencing, a focus on violent offenders, strengthening community supervision to reduce recidivism, and reinvesting a portion of the savings that result on proven programming.
U.S. Justice Action Network Executive Director Holly Harris: “Louisiana legislators have a roadmap to make their state safer. With the highest incarceration rate in the United States, Louisiana would need to invest hundreds of millions more to accommodate their growing prison system over the next few years. The reforms recommended by the task force follow policies that have proven to work in states like Texas, Georgia and Alabama. These policies will reduce the number of offenders that return to state custody through better rehabilitation programs and eliminating barriers to their successful reentry to society. And by focusing prison beds on threats to public safety, these policies ensure resources are used where they’re needed most.
“Taken together, these recommendations can save Louisiana over $305 million over the next ten years, and most importantly, result in safer communities and fewer crime victims. We urge the legislature to quickly act on these bipartisan, data-driven recommendations, and continue bringing Louisianans what they want: effective policies to fix a broken justice system.”