NEW ORLEANS – The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana today issued the following statement regarding Senate Bill 188, which would roll back core elements of the state’s bipartisan Justice Reinvestment Package and cost taxpayers up to $9.6 million per year. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on Wednesday, May 27 at 11am.

“With state revenues plummeting and our economy in freefall, it is alarming that state legislators would divert scarce taxpayer resources to fund harmful policies that fueled our mass incarceration crisis and failed to make our communities safer,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder that mass incarceration not only undermines justice, it also threatens public health, as outbreaks continue to rage through our prisons and detention centers. We urge members of the House to reject this fiscally irresponsible and harmful bill that would worsen racial disparities and roll back the clock on proven reforms that are making Louisiana stronger and safer.”

The bipartisan Justice Reinvestment Package passed in 2017 has saved Louisiana’s general fund nearly $30 million and enabled vital investments in victim services, re-entry programming, and corrections.