NEW ORLEANS -- Hundreds of inmates are getting 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 Wednesday is the product of a new package of laws overhauling the state's criminal justice system.
A list from the State Department of Corrections showed 139 inmates being released from Orleans Parish and 141 from Jefferson Parish.
Printisis Pope was one of the inmates released on Wednesday.
"Feels good to be free,” Pope said.
He shared his story of being a troubled youth and was unable to get help.
"I had a problem I had a drug problem,” Pope said.
He wound up in trouble with the law and was sent to State Prison.
"I went in and rehabilitated myself and I think it helped me out as a person and I didn't have to stay as long as I would have to stay for something so simple,” Pope said.
Pope said he is thankful to be released a few months ahead of his sentence.
Under the law, non-violent offenders are eligible for good time release after serving 35 percent of their sentence. Officials said each case file is being reviewed and there may be some prisoners on the list that will not be released based on the case.
The legislation earned bipartisan support from state lawmakers, but some elected officials have denounced the changes.
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