Gov. Bobby Jindal To Support Legislation Targeting Juveniles And Non-Violent Drug Offenders In Prison Reforms For Upcoming La. Legislative Session
The La. governor will support legislation that he says will help Louisiana's at-risk youth and reduce recidivism rates for juveniles and non-violent drug offenders.
On juvenile justice reform, Gov. Jindal wants to streamline the system of care for youth that are currently in the juvenile justice system. He also wants to strengthen programs to help at-risk youth on the front-end so they do not end up in the juvenile justice system:
With these reforms, we can help at-risk youth on the front-end so that they can avoid a future of incarceration and instead become productive members of society. Providing our children with community-based support before they fall through the cracks will go a long way toward strengthening our communities and keeping our kids out of trouble.
Jindal says legislation, authored by Senator Greg Tarver, will look to refocus and rededicate the Families in Needs of Services (FINS) program with its original mission to care for at-risk youth before they end up on probation or in non-secure or secure care. He will push legislation, authored by Senator Rick Ward, that will also seek to create an integrated case management system that allows for proactive treatment in juvenile probation.
In Jindal's other target area, sentencing reform, he wants to move to more effective community-based alternatives to incarceration - under the supervision of the Department of Corrections - as a way to treat non-violent, non-sex and non-habitual drug offenders:
Studies and practices in other states have shown that substance abuse treatment instead of incarceration is a more effective treatment for non-violent, non-sex, non-habitual drug offenders. By enacting these common-sense sentencing reforms, we can provide these types of offenders with the help they need and lower recidivism rates that are costly to the state and our communities.
Jindal is proposing to expand Louisiana's Drug Court program and legislation that would allow for the conditional early release of non-violent first and second drug offenders.