2018 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:1199.2 - Legislative findings
§1199.2. Legislative findings
A. The mission of incarceration in the criminal justice system is to enhance public safety through the safe and secure incarceration of offenders, effective probation and parole supervision, and proven rehabilitative strategies that successfully reintegrate offenders into society, as well as assisting individuals and communities victimized by crime. The goals and priorities of incarceration in the criminal justice system involve a commitment to public safety and rehabilitation and are:
(1) To protect the citizens of the state of Louisiana.
(2) To punish conduct which is defined as criminal by the legislature.
(3) To deter future conduct which is defined as criminal by the legislature.
(4) To rehabilitate offenders so that they may be reintroduced into society as law-abiding citizens.
(5) To provide safety to both corrections staff and offenders.
(6) To provide basic services.
(7) To provide opportunities for change.
(8) To provide opportunities for restitution.
(9) To provide effective strategies for reentry into society following incarceration.
B. The state of Louisiana is experiencing a severe shortage of skilled craftsmen. As a result of this workforce shortage, industries which depend upon skilled craftsmen are required to recruit and employ workers who are not Louisiana residents.
C. Within the prison system, there are Louisiana residents who have been convicted of nonviolent offenses who could be trained as skilled craftsmen to fill the workforce demand.
D. The legislature recognizes that an essential component of reducing recidivism is providing an individual with the necessary occupational skills to afford him the opportunity to earn a living, support his family, and contribute to his community.
E. The legislature also recognizes that in addition to occupational skills development, it is absolutely essential to provide proper substance abuse counseling, mentoring, and other programs to assist individuals as they return to their communities with a focus on breaking the cycle that prevents them from moving forward with their lives.
F. Repealed by Acts 2010, No. 836, §2.
G. Successful offender reentry and reintegration into the community is a matter of critical importance to the public's safety, but reentry is often unsuccessful due to the barriers ex-offenders face upon release. Those barriers include, but are not limited to, a lack of education and job skills, employment prohibition in selected occupations, mental health and substance abuse problems, access to valid identification documents, child support enforcement regulations, access to public housing and other public benefits, and strained or fragile family and community ties.
H. The ability of ex-offenders to obtain employment after incarceration and become productive members of their communities is essential to reducing recidivism rates; however, successfully finding employment is often difficult due to the reluctance of many employers to hire individuals with criminal backgrounds.
I. Without successful reentry into the community, recidivism is likely to occur, causing detrimental effects to public safety, communities, families, taxpayers, and ex-offenders.
J. Offender reentry is a crime prevention strategy, which serves to reduce crime and the number of crime victims and ultimately ensures opportunities for safer communities. Successful reentry is also a cost savings measure which results in savings to state and local criminal justice systems.
K. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections has taken steps to implement offender reentry initiatives and is reaching out to other agencies and communities to form partnerships which are necessary to ensure continued support and success.
L. With the goal of establishing a more systematic approach to identifying obstacles that impede successful reentry and developing and implementing effective reentry strategies that improve public safety, the legislature establishes the Reentry Advisory Council and Offender Rehabilitation Workforce Development Act.
Acts 2008, No. 106, §1, eff. June 6, 2008; Acts 2010, No. 836, §§1, 2.