Today, families around Louisiana are being reunited as some people incarcerated for nonviolent, non-sex-related offenses are released due to bipartisan criminal justice reforms that state lawmakers adopted earlier this year.
Their releases – coming on average eight weeks earlier than under previous policies – mark the beginning of a historic process that will allow Louisiana to save $262 million over the next 10 years by reducing its prison population.
Our elected officials are wisely choosing to reinvest 70 percent of these savings into promoting public safety by implementing evidence-based programs for prison alternatives, reentry services and victim support.
Reinvestment programs are aimed at preventing crime and reducing recidivism. Their goal is to ensure that people are prepared to return to their families and communities as productive citizens upon release. Preventing recidivism keeps families together, saves taxpayers’ money, and creates a safer Louisiana.
The SPLC is a proud member of Louisianans for Prison Alternatives, a diverse, statewide coalition that is committed to reducing the prison population of Louisiana, the world’s leader in incarceration.
Today signifies positive change in the incarceration capital of the world, where we have chosen to prioritize rehabilitating people over warehousing them. Today is a big step, but our work is not done.
We must support our neighbors’ return home today by building them up and helping them successfully make the transition, and we must continue to push for even bolder changes to ensure that our criminal justice system is fair and just for all Louisianans.