Voting RIghts Bills to be heard on wednesday; Over 500 demonstrate at the capitol; and this week's legislative preview
Last week, over 500 people showed up at Louisiana’s State Capitol to call for drastic criminal justice reforms. VOTE filled a bus from New Orleans and united with members of Louisianans for Prison Alternatives (LPA) from across the state. A bipartisan group of legislators are prepared to pass historic legislative reforms. It remains to be seen, however, if they are so watered down as to not budge Louisiana from the national incarceration leader.
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Last week we spoke out on needed reforms to the juvenile life without parole bill (SB146), and opposed several bills that create redundant penalties on serious charges, such as a possible enhancement on 198 years for a pattern of robberies (HB301). THe desire to show “tough on crime” chops has not evaporated with the spirit of criminal justice reform.
It was also disappointing to read the amendments to HB615, taking out the provision supported by VOTE (to expand rehabilitative programming to all incarcerated people). Without that, the only remaining piece is allowing the parole board to extend a release date 9 months in order for programming to be completed.
This week, the legislature is hearing many important on Tuesday and Wednesday:
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Contact Robert Goodman, VOTE’s statewide organizer, if you would like to testify regarding a certain bill, or would like to be part of a rideshare: Robert@vote-nola.org