Baton Rouge, La (NBC 33) — On Friday, Governor Jindal announced a few reforms that will be presented during this year's legislative session. They deal with troubled youth and non-violent drug offenders.
The first is a sentencing reform, which aims to get non-violent offenders out of prison faster. Jindal says it’s an expansion of the drug court system already in place.
The other focus is keeping non violent children out of the juvenile justice system by getting them the services they need to succeed.
With these reforms, Governor Jindal says almost 500 people will be eligible for early prison release, which will save tax payers millions of dollars.
"What were talking about is these are non violent kids,” Governor Jindal said. “You look at the examples a 6-year-old running away from an abusive home. A child that’s been truant. A child who has missed school, these are not children we should be putting into a juvenile justice system and turning them into prisoners."
Louisiana has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country, and targeting youth will help keep those children out of jail before they even enter the system. State lawmakers will take up the proposed in the April legislative session.