Governor John Bel. Edwards and other state leaders announced plans to spend money from criminal justice reform savings. It is expected to provide inmates tools and programs to prevent them from returning behind bars.
The Louisiana Department of Safety awarded nearly $1.7 million dollars to the Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice for victims’ services as part of the reinvestment effort from the state’s bipartisan criminal justice reform.
The Governor says the state saved more than $12 million dollars as a result of the reform during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The law requires 70 percent of the savings to be reinvested into programs which aims to reduce recidivism, support victims, and improve public safety.
“95 percent of all inmates are going to get out of prison and return and re-enter into services,” said Governor Edwards. “Those programs prepare them for success.”
From those savings, the money will target five parishes that contributed to Louisiana being the highest ranked state for incarcerated inmates. Those parishes include: Orleans, Jefferson, East Baton Rouge, Caddo and St. Tammany, according to the Department of Corrections Secretary Jimmy LaBlanc.
“For the first time in decades, we don’t lead the nation in incarceration today,” said Governor Edwards.
More than 700 thousand dollars will go toward establishing a family justice center in East Baton Rouge. The facility will empower victims of family violence with resources to maintain safety and stability for families.
The Governor concludes these efforts are what legislators envision for Louisiana.