Last year, Louisiana released hundreds of inmates early in an effort to save money and cut the state's incarceration rate. The plan was met with skepticism and doubt as citizen wondered if any of the money saved would actually be invested back into communities. Well, the Governor had a lot to say on the matter Wednesday afternoon.

A big chunk of that savings is come back to Caddo Parish to reinvest into inmates. Governor John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that more than 912 thousand dollars would be sent back to Caddo to reinvest in law enforcement and to help with prisoner reforms. Earlier this week, the Governor also announced more than $1 million for victims services in the state.

Here is a breakdown on how the money will be spent locally:

  • $388,068 for community incentive grants to Louisiana Parole Project and United Way of NWLA
  • $374,500 toward local programs ensuring inmates spend the last two years of incarceration at a local facility in close proximity to the inmate's home parish. Programming will include education, technical training as well as anger management, substance abuse treatment and more.
  • $100,000 for a drug court probation program
  • $50,000 to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Re-Entry Center. Sheriff Steve Prator says this money is for new computers to help continue a training program now in place.

Caddo DA James Stewart says the money is a good start but the state still has a long way to go. Stewart says more money needs to go towards reform and to DA's offices around the state so they can help victims.

Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator, a long time critic of the plan, said Wednesday “'I’m concerned with the amounts of money that don’t go toward law enforcement, toward straightening out the front end, where people all over the state go to trial faster.” Prator also expressed concerns over the amount of folks he's rearrested after they got a break due to the reform efforts.

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