“Without education, job skills, and other basic services, offenders are likely to repeat the same steps that brought them to jail in the first place. This not only affects the offender, but families and our communities as well. This is a problem that needs to be addressed head‐on.” ‐‐‐ Gov. Bobby Jindal, March 18, 2009
Louisiana’s Corrections Challenges
In 2011, when Louisiana announced a partnership with the Pew Center on the States to study the drivers in the state’s prison population, the announcement was supported by Governor Bobby Jindal, Senate President Joel Chaisson, House Speaker Jim Tucker, and Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Hal Turner. These leaders understand that Louisiana taxpayers are spending hundreds of millions on their prisons. They further understand that in 2009, one in every 55 Louisianans was in prison or jail, the highest incarceration rate in the U.S. Nevertheless, despite high incarceration rates and corrections costs, the state has one of the worst violent crime rates in the country, and in fact, in 2010, Louisiana had the country’s highest murder rate—only Washington, DC ranked higher. Moreover, in 2009, the five‐year recidivism rate in Louisiana was about 48%.