One of the most vivid examples of the dangers of the heavy hand of government is the history of Louisiana’s broken criminal justice system, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars a year incarcerating tens of thousands of men and women with very little to show in results for public safety. While the bi-partisan reforms passed in 2017 have taken great strides to righting those wrongs, significant challenges still exist. First and foremost, we have to protect the 2017 reform package, and encourage policies that help returning citizens lead productive and successful lives. Looking forward, we must limit government’s abuse of civil asset forfeiture, which enables law enforcement to confiscate and keep private property without so much as charging the owners with a crime and create a better, fairer process of funding our state’s court system.
Those attacking the 2017 landmark criminal justice reforms have not allowed enough time for the positive impacts to take effect.
Louisiana law allows state law enforcement to take ownership of personal property without even charging the owner with a crime.
Louisiana laws pertaining to overcriminalization, criminal intent and strict liability are overreaching and outdated.
Many argue provisions in Louisiana’s fines and fees systems violate Louisianans’ rights to speedy trials and unfairly burdens the poor.
Protect and serve as watchdogs for the implementation of the 2017 reforms in order to ensure they are given adequate time to allow the positive impacts to take effect.
Maximize public safety by focusing prison beds on the highest risk to society.
Make best use of scarce taxpayer dollars.
Ensure Louisiana’s criminal justice system is fair, predictable and based on outcomes and data-driven analysis.
Reform Louisiana’s civil asset forfeiture laws, which are among the worst in the nation, to allow police to take temporary custody of a criminal suspect’s property and await conviction before assuming permanent ownership.
Reform Louisiana’s laws dealing with mens rea.
Reform Louisiana’s fines and fees systems to lessen the burden on those who can’t afford them, as well as the conviction funding incentives and large time windows available for charging incarcerated individuals for crimes.