New Orleans Business Leaders are Smart on Crime

A New Orleans businessman, Pres Kabacoff, calls to the state legislature to look for ways to reduce state spending, in the state that is “the most incarcerating in the nation,” starting with reducing the percentage of the state budget currently allocated to the Department of Corrections to house prisoners.  Other business sand civic leaders in New Orleans have followed suit and have created a Smart on Crime program who’s goal is to reduce the state’s prison population and recidivism and consequently their bloated incarceration budgets.

Congratulations and thanks to The Advocate for your strong and incisive series on the state’s Byzantine tax exemptions and in some cases profligate corporate giveaways. Incentivizing business only makes sense if the incentives created by tax savings provide the state a positive return on its investment. The timing of the series is significant given the state budget is verging on a ruinous, $1.4 billion deficit. As the series points out, it no longer makes sense to further decimate higher education and health care to offset budget deficits.

But there’s another way to reduce state spending that would actually be of benefit to the state: reducing the allocation currently required by the Department of Corrections to house prisoners. DOC’s budget is $760 million a year without considering indirect costs such as health care and pensions.

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ROC signatory Kevin Kane talks to NPR

Signatory to the Right on Crime statement of principles and President of the Pelican Institute Kevin Kane talks to NPR about Louisiana’s criminal justice system.

“It is a growing consensus on the right that this is the direction we want to be going. Most people will point to, ‘Well, it’s saving money, and that’s all conservatives care about.’ But I think it goes beyond that.”

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ROC testifies in Louisiana

Right on Crime signatory Jerry Madden testified before a Louisiana Senate Committee on a bill that aims to lessen sentences for non-violent drug offenders.

“It saves money, saves lives and reverses the trend.”

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Louisiana looks to Texas to get right on crime

The Pelican Institute points out that Louisiana is out of step, even with conservative states like Texas and Georgia, which have moved away from prison terms for nonviolent offenders to emphasize rehabilitation.

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Raft of Bills Aim to Make Louisiana Smart on Crime

Kevin Kane, president of the Pelican Institute, on recommendations for Louisiana to get smart on crime.

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