Criminal justice overhaul aims to cut La. prison population - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Criminal justice overhaul aims to cut La. prison population

By MELINDA DESLATTE
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's debate over how to rework its criminal justice system is heading to state lawmakers.

A study group Thursday approved its package of recommendations for a sweeping rewrite of Louisiana's criminal sentencing laws and its approach to prisoner rehabilitation.

The effort aims to lessen Louisiana's highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate and provide more training and treatment to reduce inmates' chances of returning to prison after release.

If the full package was enacted by lawmakers, it is estimated to cut the prison population by 13 percent by 2027 and lessen state corrections spending by a net of $150 million over the decade.

The push for criminal justice overhaul has been embraced by a wide mix of political groups and Gov. John Bel Edwards. But disagreements already have emerged about some of the ideas.

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