Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards released the following letter to Attorney General Jeff Landry regarding his recent comments on the state’s criminal justice reform efforts.  The bipartisan plan, which was crafted after a year of a comprehensive study of Louisiana’s criminal justice system, was passed overwhelmingly by members of the state legislature.  The Attorney General’s recent comments inaccurately describe the reforms taking place and incite fear in the public based on misinformation.

“This bipartisan effort began under my predecessor.  As you are aware, this year, law enforcement, community advocates, the business community, Republicans and Democrats enacted historic reforms modeled off of efforts in other conservative states,” Gov. Edwards said in the letter.  “Your comments in public and to the media indicate to me that you are either misinformed or knowingly spreading wrong information to the public in an effort to incite fear.”

During the year-long public discussion on criminal justice reform and the entire 2017 Regular Legislative Session where bills were debated, the Attorney General did not participate or make recommendations in a single discussion related to the changes being proposed.  Those public meetings included:

  • 9 full, public task force meetings;
  • 12 public sub-group meetings;
  • Multiple statewide victims’ roundtables;
  • Community town hall meetings; and
  • 2 task force meetings specifically reserved for stakeholder testimony at the request of the District Attorneys and Sheriffs. 

Gov. Edwards’ complete letter is available here