Sheriff concerned about November inmate releases.

Louisiana's Justice Reinvestment Reforms, 10 news laws approved by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards in June, will go into effect November 1st. 

According to a Practitioner's Guide from the Department of Public Safety & Corrections, "the bipartisan reform pakcage is designed to steer people convicted of less serious crimes away from prison, strengthen alternatives to incarceration, reduce prison terms for those who can be safely supervised in the community, and remove barriers to successful reentry."

The goal is to reduce prison and community supervision populations by 10 to 12 percent. The decline in the number of prisoners would save Louisiana taxpayers an estimated $262 million over the next 10 years. Louisiana currently has the highest incarceration rate in the country. 

Caddo Parish Sheriff, Steve Prator, says he is concerned, and Justice Reinvestment is not good for Caddo.

"The Legislature and the Governor have made a huge mistake, many of those scheduled to be released have not been properly vetted and are a danger to our safety and property. Seasoned multiple offenders are getting a break at our expense," says Prator.

Prator announced at a Thursday morning news conference that 2,000 inmates would be released statewide in November, with 192 returning to Caddo Parish. 

Secretary of Public Safety & Corrections, James M. Le Blanc, refutes the numbers, saying 1,400 will be released with 35 returning to Caddo.

Sheriff Prator referenced at least 2 individual cases set for November release, saying one inmate had been arrested 52 times, was charged with 2nd degree murder but pled to manslaughter, has 13 arrests for simple and aggravated battery, and 4 arrests for domestic battery including strangulation.

"He was supposed to stay in jail until 2024, November 1st he's out of here, now you think that man's rehabilitated with that kind of record? I don't think so," questioned Prator. 

Secretary Le Blanc says he will reach out to the Sheriff to discuss individual cases that could possibly merit additional scrutiny, such as ankle bracelet monitoring. 

"I don't want people to panic, that's the bottom line, people need to understand this is a step in the right direction for our criminal justice system," says Le Blanc. 

To read more on Justice Reinvestment Reform: https://www.lasc.org/documents/LA_Practitioners_Guide_Justice_Reinvestment_Reforms_FINAL_2017-8-1.pdf


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