How have criminal justice reforms saved Louisiana money?

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
Wednesday, July 11th
Tommy talks to Jimmy LeBlanc, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, about how recent criminal justice reforms have helped save the state over $12 million.

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

Jameel blonde John's right now secretary. Of Louisiana department of corrections are about commons and Owens is there relates. To the criminal justice system good morning sir how are you. Good morning. I'm done doing well and you. Tell me about. They grew criminal justice overall first off what that entailed. And secondly how it's not only I would think improving the conditions for some people living conditions. Foursome fellow humans. It's also save and save money. Yes exactly right actually distorted. You know in 2017. And and do an obsession with a list. Bob Forrest and support for what we're trying to do it and reforming how all operations in and the chrome just this area in as much as corrections as. Overall criminal justice reform as is what this about this not prison reform crumbled just tell me what dead means Jimmy in terms of yeah and me and things that we look on on hand of of what we ordered from body options for our judges and out DA's on the front end up sentencing. It means. Have individual options and not once not at all sentence saying. It and help and in that area where we addressed the needs of the people that though struggling out there and our community especially. In recourse to medical and mental health that that's the biggest issue out there. We're on Rania. And and like 80% of the people that I now present system. Have they have drug problems of middle well doesn't want heart yeah it is this shouldn't have gotten so. All the alleged attempt piece of legislation that passed in the seventh. Concession and a settlement a bag today Jimmy and they are astounding 80% of the people. That are incarcerated have either mental health or drug issues. That's correct and look they're not they're not all in a drug arms. But but we know that the crime they commit it was the cause they have drug problems and we're doing everything we can within that does present system. To address that need but it's in need to be addressed them on I mean that. You know to get him and present system as a mom bond and that with. Should they close I mean they need to be they need to be focused in Oneida area and and that's what we do and that's what this is all about it and it is the first. Numbers that a company I wanna emphasize the fact it is still early. These numbers. All are all off early and did you know this bought it last August and November. So we now you know we have a long ways to go this this is not a I know what might. Resolution this is something that's gonna take some time. It to have an impact well but the first numbers are excellent and we're excited about what's what's happening right now without formal justice. He said 80% of the people that are incarcerated. It involves either drugs or mental illness so. He isn't a false presumption. Is say well if we would treat the mental health. And the drug addiction on the front end that you would reduce imprisoned population. Greatly. I don't know about 8% would greatly. No question about it I mean as everyone probably knows or should know is that you know we went through up but appear to town where we close our mental health facilities and I'll. Roses and become mental health facilities so. You know it and that's what the reinvestment is all about and and you know we have reduce our prison population just 2012 about 7000. We didn't bet some money early call and what we did government efficiency management. Services. Project and and wish you results of that because of the present would document and opera oil for April population is down since November's spot checks out. Which enables Koppel vegetable oil surged to law. So good to have it spent time the people they need to be extended Tom. Forget about the mental health issue and that's what that the first day he's about investment is is our community based. And that's what that fate has about it is allowed our communities to submit. Grant applications. To address those issues and and now we've traveled around all these jumpers and so I am in shadow bands are out popped the percent of opera as well. And those op areas that we are concentrating. Already investment efforts on and our state so. Are we feel real good about about investment phase and that that we will be addressed those issues. And it will have a serious impact on on the outcome and the president and then make statements and that again met with the. Centex comes in and says what about the people that are on the outside. That didn't do anything wrong noun a mental health problems etc. has this had any effect on public safety at all in one about recidivism of those have been released. Yeah I mean. Dust evidence effect on public say Ian and that that certainly is critical land. For the people who haven't gotten imprisonment and and look in not have. I have personal experiences with the but let's Brenda Mon Sam has a deal with this and and now. You know they'll urge all our Ambien and and end up in prison ultimately and some people cannot afford it. And can take fourth is the people of the unfortunately to properties section. About communities is where the media's and because they can't afford the treatments sought at this and and again that that's what this about that help on that side and actually in ends up reduce the cost the Allstate and state government. Who are also urged. Yeah no definitely we we track and end that. That this report that we put our own statements and when you get into the week to that report. Gives you real good breakdown of what we going to be tracking performance based laws. And making sure that what we do and his quirky so yeah we we currently track in and you know we do you are set of this them right now. That numbers about 44% so you into a year. One out of fuel coming back to us and and that. Definitely needs to be reduced and and again this investment bought this and what we don't reform will have a major impact on. And what about the nonviolent. Offenders there were released earlier in terms of coming back recidivism median number of all it. Yeah yet that that he. It's a small bowl wouldn't expect anything other than normal version of recidivism is that being the sense so we would expect of the 2000. That was released. About 300 would return and we ride on track but that as we speak got outplayed at the end of June. We were real close to band just about 15%. Projected to. But a year and our overall who rate was 44. Brought got you so it would appear to be you win whenever Samir Jimmy I guess disease continue on does it expand. Yeah in other words. Or space as the community based services in and we have a projected award date in September. Which will be invested and not the other thing that's important for people on the stand over on top. Is that this is different than other states and the fact that we calls. All the pit it is about presence and blow would jailed 24 dollars and thirty announcement today and I ala locked in city. They Uga this year as did not have enough funding to it the program and again that's what history investment has about it in those are issues. I'm an audit where these MA to ban give an example of where these batteries. In 2017. We returned 17100. And his back in east age from 988 different social. And it throughout the state we we call in NATO and hard for local jails in addition to upstate presence so that. The B Altman we app do battle with that we increase to Padilla. In those areas where we cannot and about the program and Indy before they reached that import that is very important portable trotted and that the second base issue with where that Nielsen. And we're you know we debated this at all about it. You know we've regular playing comeback Wendy Jimmy I hope so because it is so important files state Tommy I mean up. I can that was up abandon its goals forty years and I am so excited we have a governor that that's working with us and it very supportive of this. And it makes things so much easier to get things accomplished and I'm excited about what's gonna happen prospect. Thank you Jimmy dual talked again Jim real blow us secretary Louisiana department of corrections and taking calls. On this will only come back the do you agree with the early release of nonviolent offenders when it comes a mental health. And drugs and heavy load dead as a criminal or a medical problem Millar to be allowed Tebow to do that.