The Louisiana Family Forum has announced its support for the criminal justice reform package that is making its way through the Legislature. The organization announced its support for 10 bills that deal with everything from public assistance for ex-felons to loosening occupational licensing requirements.
“If we cut recidivism by half, Louisiana can save $25 million dollars a year. Moreover, we can change the trajectory of families on both sides of the crime equation. Instead of re-offenders, we could prepare skillful fathers, mothers, and families which thrive in society. Over a 10-year period, we could reduce the prison population substantially!” said LFF President Gene Mills in a statement sent to The Hayride.
Here’s a copy of the legislative package of the 10 bills LFF is supporting. The bills are:
- HB 116 which streamlines the victim notification process
- HB 680 which allows judges to factor whether or not someone is incarcerated when setting child support
- HB 681 which eliminates restrictions on drug offenders receiving SNAP benefits
- HB 519 makes it easier for some felons to get occupational licenses
- HB 489 reinvests criminal justice savings into programs that fight recidivism and support victims
- HB 289 modifies fines and other penalties to make it easier for low-income people to pay them
- SB 220 lowers sentences for non-violent offenders
- SB 221 gives judges more discretion to avoid excessive sentences for some offenders
- SB 139 increases alternatives for incarceration and strengthens the parole and probation system to reduce recidivism
- SB 16 allows juveniles convicted of 2nd-degree murder a chance to receive parole after 25 years
Mills and other supporters of the criminal justice reform package have a goal of cutting recidivism in half over 10 years. “Our hope is to see recidivism cut in half over ten years. Expanding re-entry court is one way to accomplish this extraordinary goal. Programs like re-entry court promote life skills, judicial oversight, and moderate sentencing resulting in effective reintegration upon release. Essential tools which change lives require a healthy balance between educational, vocational, and moral rehabilitation and life and social skills development.” said Mills in a statement.
The backing of the criminal justice reform package by LFF could give conservatives a cover to support it. It increases the overall package’s chance at success.