Louisiana lawmakers have done something extraordinary: They passed major criminal justice reforms. These reforms ultimately will end Louisiana’s dubious title as the world’s leading jailer. They also will rehabilitate nonviolent offenders, save taxpayers money, and make everyone safer in the long run.
The reforms represent a bipartisan effort supported by the state’s district attorneys. Equally important: Violent criminals and sex offenders will not be turned loose on society. Instead, taxpayers will save many millions, and millions more will be reinvested in rehabilitating nonviolent offenders.
Louisiana jails more people, per capita, than anyplace else in the world, but that has not lowered our crime rate. Lawmakers have decided, if mass incarceration doesn’t work, let’s try rehabilitation.