Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Let's start this week with the good news

The Legislature is a total mess. Everybody knows that.  But it's worth pointing out that they did accomplish something truly meaningful this spring.
All 10 bills of a dramatic overhaul of Louisiana's criminal justice system have passed both chambers of the Legislature, and are within reach of the governor's desk for final approval.

It's a victory for advocates pursuing the ambitious revamp that will, in large part, lead to some lighter jail sentences. It's also somewhat unexpected for the bipartisan consensus on the issue in such a deeply conservative state where law enforcement and elected officials have long prided themselves for being tough on crime.

But being tough on crime has led to laws that have overtime lengthened sentences and removed parole opportunities for offenders, earning Louisiana the unwanted distinction of being the most highly incarcerated place in the world.
These reforms aren't everything we would have hoped but they are a significant turn against the idiotic cruelty of mass incarceration as a blanket default. That it's possible to do this in Louisiana should give eveybody at least little bit of hope today.

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