Could John Bel Play Favorites With State Cash? [VIDEO]
Dr. Jeff Sadow, political science professor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, talks with 101.7 / 710 KEEL's Robert J Wright and Erin McCarty about his recent article at theadvocate.com, in which he speculates how Governor John Bel Edwards will dole out the more than $8 million in savings from 2017's criminal justice changes.
But, first of all, Sadow thinks the implementation of the Justice Reinvestment Act was "backwards." From the advocate.com:
Unfortunately, the justice reform initiative did things in reverse. Logically, programs to help keep freed inmates out of prison should have kicked in before they got out. And with sentencing changes diverting more of those convicted away from jail, measures to keep them on the straight and narrow also need beefing up.
And the prof is also concerned that the Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator's criticism of the John Bel backed bill could cost northwest Louisiana needed - and legislated - funding:
...critics of the cart-before-the-horse approach, of which the most vocal might be Republican Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, repeatedly and publicly pointed out that the governor was putting a campaign promise ahead of public safety.
Prator also complained the sentencing changes put dangerous criminals on the street.
Prator, northwest Louisiana’s most powerful politician, isn’t someone Edwards should cross lightly. That may cause political damage, but Edwards also has the chance to win friends by how he uses proceeds from the justice reform plan.
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