Criminal justice reform in Louisiana?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Tuesday, June 13th
Tommy talks with Greg Glod, Manager of State Initiatives for Right on Crime and Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, about the conservative case for criminal justice reform.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

One thing the legislature did get passed during the regular session Republican dominated legislature signed by large margins. Sweeping changes it'll Tran jail sentences. And expand rural opportunities to offenders in jail. And analysts predict will reduce the over old Neil population by 10%. Over a decade some of the news. Com hardcore conservative Republicans and actions that but those more into the right. Where against that Greg Lai joins us right now manager of state initiatives for right on crime senior policy analyst for the center. For effective justice of the Texas publicly a text is public policy foundation to morning Greg. I am law I don't know I was just say your business card must be five by eight. Yeah like it hit a quality that I don't like it is now else yes yes and that's why Adam and his arm. Tell me about oh I think even know where we start with this I guess it's based on. Though older prisoners Greg. I'm the that is on base I'm older prisoners I mean it it really covered the entire system so we're looking at everything from. You know pre trial to sentencing into how you handle prisoners water and in prison and 2 other am getting handle afterwards you know particularly in and 95% prisoners are gonna get out at some point. And so what they try to do is look at lawyer present using that time effectively while giving educational programs vocational treatments so when you come out. You're better person when he came. So is this a situation where. They have to signs basically unsigned of the balance sheet one person sand. They committed. They they broke the law they deserved to be punished to put them in jail and a cell with no TV or whatever and let him. Think about what they did. And other people say like you that now because if you do that the U gonna have a high rate of recidivism and if they don't have any skills then what again they do when they get out other than resort to crime. Exactly and you know we're you know we're very conservative policy foundations it was right on crime and you know we'd. Were in the notion of anti lock them up and early to keep not so we didn't tax system that's for. Or stationed here but we are looking at the system said. Are we actually getting and return on investment that were supposed to be are we actually increasing public safety by blocking. Early in the key. And what we've seen in Texas and a lot of other you know really conservative states like South Carolina Georgia Mississippi we actually. Decrease certain sentences put alternatives to incarceration remove these barriers to success for entry. You actually see the crime rate go down one person and goes down. I'm into your saving money you're making the public's safer on the you're actually getting better people coming out of the persons that. It gets of the dollars and a minute overtime and Greg glide man whose state initiatives for. Right on crime senior policy analyst for the center for effective justice at the Texas public policy foundation about. Shortening sentences overall drag or is there's only for. Certain crimes. There are certain crimes that reduce that in Louisiana there's some things are mandatory minimums for for certain offenses. Essentially what they are but the judge has no discretion. To pass or a lower than the more than minimum. And that's got to like the three strikes you're melting where a guy. Has two or woman has to arrest before and convictions may be for misdemeanor crimes. And Annie get locked up for possession of potter what have you and any wind up being sentenced alive prison because there is no flexibility in the three strikes you're out thing. Right that's that's one of the things and so but some of them in in Louisiana so for example. On the if you had a second and there are certain minimum penalties that you had to do an editor for nonviolent crimes as well the likes simple possession of drugs. I'm more trapping possession you know lower trafficking of drugs things like that so. We can actually much further and you know criminalize the higher level. A lot of fans that were being provide that level in neighboring states like Texas like. You know Georgia South Carolina and Mississippi and doesn't yet despite that had similar crime rate of less. Incarceration and so what you're saying is just throwing people in prison obviously is not lowering crime rates so let's look at the system get better returns on. Jamie in a while in high gear and other WL the morning. Good morning. Hey I ignited in particular I was in high school in Massachusetts. And it's so my friend brought those Brooke and I told them twenty dollars it was a jealousy. And I know that was wrong and I totally agree with and I was given ten years. First sent. And had no record or anything and that the week before my trial Nixon had declare war on drug pushers. The idea and and so anyway I want to going to you know from in my cell block was the Boston strangler. Every type of the major criminal you couldn't even a match so you. Know and went messages as sales volumes there while Apple's papers. And my two best friends were like fruits and what we would you know. Could expand mono little burner in front of the ventilator every night and it was like what we've watched you know markets and Indians on the family and it was more like. College unique and so different then than it is today. And I've been looking for improved most are about five years ago on social meaning you couldn't certainly feel good to be open now. And I could never find them and then I saw a program on PBS about the Boston strangler and found out. And decided to call that the present and much to my dismay they were still there. So I third writing them have been. A month sort of habitual letter so mr. writing them and write them every day and there's this found god. Elderly known Jamie the world and 73 mile and they've been their fifty years when we get his take on Greg lately thing about that Allen Steve Beck well I don't know. Jamie what were they in prison for. But that they they would forbid there imprisoned for first degree and second one of them for first degree murder and one. For second degree murder. The NN for a long time purse agree murder very serious charge capital offense and a lot of states. And second degree murderer. I know what I mean certainly when you know and when you look at the package that Louisiana it and you know that's a focus on nine months and are so. You know from our standpoint sometimes the best tax dollars spent are the ones you know locking people up you know society should be afraid of and you know I don't know the circumstances of those those cases but a lot about offenses you know. Keeping people away from society is the best way to increase public safety there's no doubt about it but when you're looking at. Potentially ten years for first have a sense for selling Ellis. Appreciate you note that the caller saying united purse responsibility for my actions and we we agree with that it's that color conservative principles that. Take personal responsibility what he's doing well now but you know does he have to be in their for ten years do you really feel that was good and you know. In law he was and partly learning it occasionally be getting skilled he needed you know. We're we're paying ten year that probably about. 4050000 dollars a year. How this person that would not bound cents when that person can be generating you know tax dollars for. Societies we really have about approach when you're looking at non violent towards about fences around. The other side of the table here Greg. You know first degree murder raised 73 now. Jamie he's been incarcerated since when you tell. And until many years and then put it years fifty years so and I'm not taking up for any first degree. Murder anything else Jamie give me the circumstances real quick. We never talked about it it was seed line or how iTunes water I'll either either case. Got you but assuming Greg it was the other worse of the worse she is making some money out and kill him for the sake of killing somebody at 73. Do you look at it as. Punishment do you look at it as. You know somebody's gonna answer for this person's death then and then those people still might have living relatives. From the time or even if not it's part of the family's legacy. On dealer that is punishment or do you look at it as 73. DA had any statistics on how many 73 year old again down and start murder and again. Or is it a matter of quirky been that person locked up for enough. Yeah you're you're punishing the person that's political opposite corrections system so I've you know semi after your old pretty much anyone. Kind of agent out of crime around like forty or fifty so obviously at this point he probably not the court decided that we we believe that he has but let's take the assumption services. You know one of the worst the worst crimes like you said it just. Pick him out of nowhere killed them you know at some point in the criminal justice and happy about punishment as well and so that might be an appropriate sense that. In the and that record I'm one of the big thing isn't allowing judges discretion to make that determination that we elect then we put them in this position on the laws were going we and a didn't allow for back had a week or just say it will desolate and indeed you know this was a case where that person got involved. It's something they were sixteen years yet they were revealed on drug abuse you know something went wrong in the killed someone and pepper at the meter talks have. Or is it you know just that cold blooded violent killer app person have a three year note director lights might be appropriate. One the other thing that we look at is you know when people have debilitating diseases and you know they essentially have you know country able cancer something like that. Keep it in the department corrections sometimes not the most appropriate towards when they're actually lately and I'm. It's costly to as a non. Oh absolutely I mean acting policy under the 202000. Dollars a year on the one thing that the justice reform package in Louisiana would look at those people with those high. I'm medical costs at an older agents said. Why don't we put them on medical for a while essentially taking him out of prison allowed the federal government to paper their their medical costs rather than Louisiana taxpayers. What kind of feedback Gary getting Greg from. Families' victims of some money like that again they called in before of first degree murder so dating convict every convicted of first degree murders one and trying to saying. A mom being an air for fifty years I think he said anyway the guy 73 right now. It generally speaking from victims' families and they feel as though you know what the guy's done his time letting mount or do they feel as though no one in the dying in prison. Yeah I think it's a little bit all over the place but there's a lot of victims durst said you know their goals hour to reform the system to ensure what happened to. In their Stanley doesn't happen other people they realized that. You know locking people up or the key is not the way to get there. And so obviously you're gonna have certain ones like you know through the victim of a person has been murdered Diana I can't light wants someone to say. The rest of their life behind bars and you know that that might be the appropriate sense for that. On the when you're looking at people potentially were off to war in other storefront dot destroyed or you know something's stolen from there. Their business most of the time individuals say you know I understand that this person did something wrong if need be punished but I don't want them to. You have your entire life destroyed because when that happens you know they can't get proper job came. It proper housing. You know they're gonna resort back to cry. And so we we don't want that most most individuals and we polled things like that and you know we ask you something big from the crime. The majority of people say you know we'd we'd rather focus our money on treatment rather than just going to mind. In terms of a a deterrent to crime men and long sentences. You know we are also dead in the inner city and the police department tells us that if somebody's well on. Maybe give up their lives or they don't care about the person their shootings lines or their own. I don't know. How old me you could sail long sands is a deterrent I'm certainly not saying they shouldn't go to jail I just wonder how. If you're gonna make something. And it deterrent that works. An African deterrent how in the world do you do that. Right and so you know a lot of other restart its coming out now it's not the length of sentence but it's the actual. I'm swiftness it was certainly a dissent in the severity and so. When years when he markets for example some of the probation. They feel the drug test. Our time that your cops say well we don't you think about that first and then you go about that on and probably laundering. That the third pilot and while we get the fourth or that we normally you know. Bergen and and then look at the rest of the sentencing than it ought to spend two years since like. Well you know what has children and if you let someone get off the hook for something 234 times. They're probably. Gonna continue that behavior so would need it was nip in the bud early give them commensurate punishment that you know amenities that we can jail for the first time maybe that we can deal the second. And what we've seen is when you have to. You know certain sentences with sentences and you don't have the thing going on and on people feel that they're gonna get. Away with things. That's when he's released are seeing good results on people breaking that cycle recidivism. I'd I got to share a couple of quick questions there weren't lightning round Greg suit your ticket. It was a brief dances private prisons I don't know wine this came about in the idea that encouraging. People for profit today imprisoned as many people as they can was a good idea. And do private prisons actually want recidivism is they have more customers into saint then. So you know we know yet we normally don't take too big stance at a proper public prison and I understand why people have. Certain concerns that in this might possibly incentivized. You know. Leading people there for longer and for a long period kinda. You know. Premarket generally much more innovative so as he's seen a lot of bad things about a private prisons here and there you know he's in a lot of innovative. Movement for the unhappily in the legislators make. Decisions on how to. Insure people. Yet that result their present had a vacancy for things like that so. During the would definitely. You know being much more creative in how they do that he's seen some great. Great evidence based practice and private prisons and also bring. Let me just jump in I got a question I'd like to get an answer in thirty seconds if we can 'cause they're screaming having the control room. In terms of drug offenses and minor misdemeanor drug offenses Jeff Sessions seems as though he's indicating he wants. A local authorities' crackdown on that do you would it would this year organization thing about them. Well when you're looking at low level drug offenses you know people don't have you know violence in their history you know in you prison does not do what you wanted to do general and actually learn to be a better criminal when they going to prison. When her lower fender rather than you know being a better person when they come out. And so you know luckily the states you know it and they have the majority of the individuals and imprisons so. Concern particularly in the way and finding out Turner's heart racing that they realize the jail just doesn't work for these low level offenders that. Probably have an addiction issue product coming from a good neighbor that things like that they can be amended rather than just some imprisoned for a long time. Were essentially just broke likely. Greg thank you hopefully get lucky again grapple ride manager state initiatives from right on crimes senior policy analyst for the center for effective justices Texas. Public policy foundation.