Louisiana eyes overhaul of its criminal justice system

BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) -Louisiana has the highest imprisonment rate in the country. But new recommendations out today by the Louisiana justice reinvestment task force would reduce the numbers and save taxpayers $305 million over the next ten years.

If adopted into law, the recommendations would reduce the state’s prison population by 13% over the next decade and reduce the number of people supervised in the community by 16%.

Governor John Bel Edwards said today that we now have a road map that will allow us to keep our streets safe while shrinking our bloated prisons.

The task force found that taxpayers were not getting a good public safety return on the 2/3 of $1 billion that the state spends each year on the correction system.

Some of the findings release today show 1 in 3 people return to prison within 3 years of release. Among those sentenced directly to prison rather than probation, the top 10 crimes were all nonviolent, the most common by far being drug possession.

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