Louisiana has the highest rates of incarceration across the country, and many of the individuals who are languishing away in jails are serving sentences comparatively more serious than the crime they have allegedly committed. Recognizing the need for reform in the criminal justice system, many lawmakers have begun advocating for a number of new laws in the state.
Drug crimes are one of the areas where state lawmakers are trying to moderate sentences, even though there is pressure from the center to increase penalties associated to drug charges. Louisiana recently passed some reforms regarding penalties, including imposing lighter sentences based on the weight of the drug.
Reducing incarceration rates seems to be a top priority, with lawmakers finally realizing that alternatives to jail are needed. Criminal justice reforms in the state are aiming to reduce prison population by 10 percent over the next 10 years. Again, one of the areas where change is expected is with relation to drug crimes, with legislation being signed to create a drug court. This would work to provide an alternative to incarceration. There will also be an attempt to use the savings from a lower incarceration rate toward a program to rehabilitate offenders.
It is important to keep in mind that, at least for the time being, the penalties associated with drug charges are very severe and should be taken seriously. While waiting for a reformation of the criminal justice system, it may be beneficial to talk to an attorney to understand different options available currently.