Louisiana passes historic criminal justice legislation

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a package of criminal justice reforms into law on June 15, 2017, concluding a lengthy period of stakeholder engagement, data review and analysis, and policy discussion by the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force. The Task Force was chaired by Louisiana Department of Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc, and included Sheriff Mike Cazes of West Baton Rouge Parish as a member. Former NSA President Craig Webre, the current Sheriff of Lafourche Parish, testified at Task Force meetings in support of the process.

"I'm signing these bills because a broken justice system leads to more crime not less," Governor Edwards said at the bill signing. "Today we begin building the system we want rather than continue to settle for the system we have."

The legislation is projected to reduce the Louisiana state prison population by 10% over the next decade, saving $262 million. 70% of those savings are to be reinvested in programs to support victims and enhance accountability.