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Reducing the incarceration rate in Louisiana

Governor John Bel Edwards recently signed some laws into effect to try to combat the high incarceration rate that plagues Louisiana. These 10 bills are being touted as being the bold, progressive strategy that will get Louisiana down from being the state with the highest incarceration rate in the country.

One of the issues in Louisiana is the mandatory minimum sentencing laws that are in place. Louisiana has a "three strikes" law that can land a person on a third drug dealing charge in prison for life upon conviction. These mandatory minimum sentences have skyrocketed the number of people who are incarcerated here.

The fact that Louisiana's prison system is a partially for-profit system hasn't helped matters at all. Without services to help the people who are incarcerated overcome the underlying factors that led to their conviction, the prison doors revolve with the same people coming in and out on a regular basis.

Governor Edwards steps up to the plate

Governor Edwards has taken a very interesting stance when it comes to criminal justice reform in the state. In the set of 10 bills that he signed on June 15, the governor included a measure that works to keep people from being incarcerated simply because they are too poor to pay fines and fees. Instead, the ability to pay will be a factor in these cases.

Another area where these bills make a big difference is juvenile crime. Juveniles who are sentenced to life in prison won't have to live a hopeless life behind bars. They can now look forward to being eligible for parole after 25 years. This could make a big difference in giving these young people a reason to try to get on the right path.

Working to reduce recidivism

In order to reduce recidivism, the package of bills addresses assistance for people who are released from prison. Before the bills, individuals who were fresh out of prison weren't able to seek out certain form of public assistance. Now, these individuals would be able get the help they need when they are released. Job assistance programs are also included in the legislation Governor Edwards signed.

One of the best things that you can do when you are facing criminal charges is decide on your defense strategy and put your energy into building your chosen option. This is sometimes difficult because many criminal charges have many points that come into the picture.

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Law Office of John E. Fitz-Gerald, L.L.C.
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