Hundreds gather at capitol to support prison reform

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Around 600 people from across Louisiana showed up at the State Capitol Thursday to show their support for prison reform.

Lawmakers and former inmates spoke at the rally, saying Louisiana needs to reduce its incarceration rate and the amount of money spent on prisons.

"We need to give these young men and women a second chance," said Khadijah Rashad, who came from Lafayette. "The simple fact is we don't need to continue to put all these people and housing them all over when they are healthy, they need to be working."

Some legislators are hoping to make changes based on a report released by the Governor's Justice Reinvestment Task Force, which recommends more alternatives to incarceration, less severe penalties for non-violent offenders, and more parole hearings.

"We need to get these guys rehabilitated," said Ilene Hurdsmoot, who came all the way from Kenner to attend the rally. "We need to get education. We need
trades. We need to push these things while they're in jail. Don't just say it. Make sure they're getting the care and attention that they need."

Many people at the really say they're going to be contacting their lawmakers as often as possible, in hopes of getting some kind of legislation passed this session.

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