The Department of Corrections has threatened to release 10,000 inmates if taxes are not raised. The agency is set to take a $75 million cut in the budget that was just signed.
Don’t worry, the department won’t release any “violent” inmates.
The head of the state Corrections Department said his agency would have to release 10,000 inmates starting July 1st if the Legislature does not raise more revenue by then.
Jimmy Le Blanc, the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, said the agency could not weather the $75 million in cuts apportioned to it by the Legislature on Monday without sharply reducing the inmate population or furloughing some of its staff.
He said the department would not release violent offenders or inmates convicted of sex crimes. However, sheriffs and officials in various parts of the state have already expressed concern about criminal-justice reforms in 2017 that have led to the accelerated release of thousands of nonviolent offenders since last November.
Le Blanc said the 10,000 additional inmates — nearly one-third of the total state prisoners — would be released gradually over the next year and are now being housed in parish jails around the state. The budget passed by the Legislature cut about 25 percent of the money that the department uses to pay sheriffs to hold the inmates.
The agency says they are still dealing with cuts from the Jindal administration. The agency says they have been forced to close prisons and lay off staff.
What is the cure the agency is looking for? They want taxes to be raised. LeBlanc specifically blamed State Rep. Alan Seabaugh.
Le Blanc said he is confident that the half-cent renewal of the sales tax would have passed had Representative Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, not filibustered in the final minutes of the session. He added that he hopes the legislators “come to their senses” and raise enough revenue in an expected third special session.
Specifically, they are threatening to close regional reentry and day reporting centers.
The department would make $6 million of the reductions by closing regional reentry and day reporting centers in five parishes– a key component of the 2017 effort to reduce the prison population and recidivism rates. The parishes are Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, Caddo, and East Baton Rouge.
The DoC is threatening public safety in order to blackmail the citizens of Louisiana. This is the new version of canceling college football, cutting TOPS, and turning off the dialysis machines. They will do anything to get their tax increases.