BATON ROUGE, La. - Hundreds of inmates are about to get early releases from Louisiana prisons and jails, a milestone in a push to reduce the nation's highest incarceration rate.
The early release of roughly 1,900 inmates on Nov. 1 is the product of a new package of laws overhauling the state's criminal justice system.
The legislation won bipartisan support from state lawmakers, but some elected officials have denounced the changes. Outrage has been stirred up by racially charged remarks by a sheriff who warned that "bad" prisoners will be freed from his north Louisiana jail and also complained that he's losing free labor from the "good ones."
The legislative changes are projected to reduce the state's prison population by up to 10 percent over 10 years.