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To: Louisiana State Legislature
Support the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force's Vision for Prison Reform
Sign this petition to support Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force's recommendation for criminal justice reform. The Task Force champions a package of legislation, which includes ten bills to cut the numbers of jail beds correctional facilities fill, create more parole opportunities, clear barriers to successful re-entry, and reinvest savings from the costs of incarceration to reduce recidivism and support victims.
Why is this important?
I am asking you to join me in supporting Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force's package of legislation to solve the mass incarceration problem in Louisiana. Right now, the State of Louisiana spends almost $2 million every day policing and incarcerating people. Everyday, Louisiana state legislators say, “NO” to investing an additional $2 million in public education, medical clinics, and food assistance programs. I am asking you to call your legislators and urge them to support the ten bills advanced by the LJR Task Force to say “YES” to:
- Cutting the numbers of jail beds correctional facilities fill;
- Creating more parole opportunities for people;
- Clearing barriers to successful re-entry; and
- Reinvesting savings from the incarceration to services in the community which will reduce recidivism and support victims.
Louisiana lawmakers have a responsibility to solving the state’s incarceration crisis and that’s why I hope you will call your legislators to encourage them to pass the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force’s bills as-is, without any amendments.
The people coming through Louisiana courts aren't different from those coming through criminal courts anywhere else, they are just subject to harsher laws. We cannot hide from the truth. When states put powerful reform policy in place, the results are positive. South Carolina has a crime rate similar to Louisiana, but with strong reform introduced, SC now sends half as many people to jail as Louisiana.
- Since passing reforms in 2010, South Carolina has seen its imprisonment rate fall by 16% and its crime rate fall by 16%.
- Since passing reforms in 2011, North Carolina has seen its imprisonment rate fall by 3% and its crime rate fall by 20%.
- Since passing reforms in 2012, Georgia has seen its imprisonment rate fall by 7% and its crime rate fall by 11%.
- Since passing reforms in 2014, Mississippi has averted all prison growth and seen a 6% reduction in its prison, population, alongside continued declines in the crime rate.
Legislators in other southern states have already moved beyond Louisiana’s practice of over-incarcerating and over-sentencing offenders. It's time for Louisiana to get up to speed.
Louisiana needs real reform now. Please support the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force's legislation package as-is, without amendment.