Governor Bobby Jindal signed a new law today to make Louisiana's criminal justice system more effective and more efficient. HB 521 by Representative Helena Moreno will expand the re-entry courts initiative into the 19th and 22nd judicial districts. HB 521 is part of Governor Jindal's 2012 legislative package and is a recommendation of the Louisiana Sentencing Commission.
Governor Jindal said, "Creating methods for offenders to learn basic, fundamental life-skills increases public safety by reducing recidivism rates and allows Louisiana to prioritize critical resources on keeping high-risk offenders off the streets. Expanding the use of these re-entry courts will allow our justice system to more effectively manage the re-entry process so that non-violent, non-sex offenders can be rehabilitated."
Around 13,000 incarcerated offenders return to Louisiana communities each year, which highlights the need for effective re-entry programming. Re-entry courts are such an initiative that will enable non-violent, non-sex offense offenders to participate in rehabilitation and workforce development programs that will help reduce recidivism rates. Upon successful completion of the program, the offender is placed on intensive re-entry supervision by the court, which also assists offenders in finding employment.