Gov. Edwards releases statement about early release of inmates

Gov. Edwards releases statement about early release of inmates

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Roughly 1,900 Louisiana prisoners are being released as part of new laws designed to reduce the state's high jail population.

Governor Edwards released the following statement on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Louisiana's label as having the highest incarceration rate in the nation may be part of our past, but it will not be a part of our future. For more than a year, stakeholders from every walk of life in Louisiana publicly met to thoroughly review our criminal justice system.  Following a model set forth by other Southern, conservative states, their goal was to make Louisiana a safer place for our children while being smarter on crime than we have been in the past.  Today, we begin the implementing the reforms that a powerful, bipartisan coalition of legislators passed this year.  Along the way, we will, undoubtedly, find areas where we can improve these changes, but our goal remains the same – increase public safety, reduce over-incarceration for nonviolent offenses, and make smarter investments in alternatives to incarceration.

According to the Governor's Office, the Justice Reinvestment Initiative is estimated to save approximately $262 million, with more than $180 million of those savings being reinvested in programs that reduce the recidivism rate and empower offenders to leave a life of crime.

WAFB's Kevin Frey has been tracking this story and will have the latest during the evening editions of 9News.

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