Louisiana is the most prolific incarcerator in the country and the world.
Prior reforms have not aggressively tackled the drivers of over-incarceration.
Louisiana spends over 3⁄4 a billion dollars a year incarcerating people without any evidence of increased safety.
This addiction to incarceration imposes significant tax and cost burdens on individuals and businesses.
While spending vast sums to incarcerate, we underfund education, job training, housing, drug treatment, mental health support and other proven violence-prevention programs.
Today, as a result of the work of many people, support for criminal justice reform is at its highest across Louisiana.
We believe criminal justice policy must be:
We believe that a campaign to transform the criminal justice system requires a broad coalition:
Members of Impacted Communities
We must educate the broad public on the deficiencies within Louisiana’s current system in order to:
- address the drivers of incarceration,
- reduce the number of incarcerated individuals now and in the future,
- and more smartly use tax dollars to prevent crime and enhance safety.
Major drivers of over-incarceration include:
- The criminalization of mental illness, and the use of prisons and jails as storage facilities for people with mental illness who, with treatment, could be productive members of society.
- The criminalization of poverty, and the use of user-based fees to run a criminal justice system.
- The failure to reduce recidivism on low level offenses by addressing issues such as mental illness, drug addiction, housing, jobs and poverty.
- The use of “multi-billing,” transforming multiple low-level offenses into life sentences or life-equivalent sentences.
- Excessive use of life without parole, with 1/3 of inmates in Louisiana ineligible for parole for at least 50 years- or ever.
- The abandonment of Executive Clemency, as a tool to return rehabilitated individuals to society.