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03-02-09, 08:36 PM #1
Determined to be #1 at something, Louisiana's incarceration rate is now #1
BATON ROUGE -- One out of every 55 Louisiana residents is behind bars, a higher incarceration rate than any other state, according to research released today by a Washington, D.C., nonprofit group.
One in 26 Louisiana adults is under correctional control, if probation and parole are included, the group found.
The Pew Center for the States study of 2007 U.S. Census data found that Louisiana's incarceration rate spiked by 272 percent since 1982. That rate of increase is far from the nation's highest of 357 percent in North Dakota, and not far from Mississippi's 256 percent increase. Neighbor states Texas and Arkansas have seen increases around 200 percent.
The Pew group argued that, particularly during a recession, rising costs of incarceration should push states to reduce prison spending by moving more nonviolent inmates out of prisons and into community-based parole and probation systems. One researcher pointed to Texas, where he said a recent shift in the politics of corrections has led to policy changes and a leveling off of that state's incarceration rate.
"I think what we're seeing is that the politics of this issue are changing," said Adam Gelb, director of Pew's public safety performance project. "The old question used to be, 'How can we demonstrate we're tough on crime?' More and more, policy-makers from both sides of the aisle are asking a better question, which is: 'How do we get taxpayers a better return on their dollars?"
Gelb said Texas had saved $500 million by expanding parole and probation, while stopping the construction of new prisons.
Louisiana's prison's chief said he's thinking along the same lines -- but is unable to back a big shift toward parole and probation, partly because those parts of his agency are already overburdened with work.
"Some states are paroling people out, but we're not in a position to do that, in my opinion," said Jimmy LeBlanc, the state's corrections secretary. "Probation and Parole is already overtasked, and releasing even the best prisoners would not be good. We're kind of in a holding pattern as far as that is concerned."
However, LeBlanc said he's planning to convene a new committee within the next few weeks to consider how Louisiana could improve the way it handles criminals. He said the panel, to be chaired by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Kitty Kimball, would include prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges and lawmakers.
The Pew group found that it costs the state $39.75 to keep an offender behind bars for one day. The figure is $2.70 per day for those on probation or parole.
03-02-09, 08:39 PM #2
Were #1......................Swamp Mafia
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and like it, never really care for anything else.
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03-02-09, 09:20 PM #3
Good job , Swamp Mafia. The rest of you slackers need to get off your butts and make some arrests. We do have an advantage , living in a target rich environment.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
03-02-09, 10:03 PM #4
Probation and parole? I feel sorry for those overworked folks now. If the rest of the country actually knew how the judicial system worked here they would know how ridiculous that comment is.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
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