Louisiana Sheriff Steve Prator faces criticism after a video of his comments about “good prisoners” goes viral. Although Louisiana passed a comprehensive set of reforms to help reduce the prison population, Sheriff Prator would rather keep “good prisoners” incarcerated, versus enact the bipartisan package.
The Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Package is comprised of 10 bills. You can read the data analysis in The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The Bipartisan Package
- Aims to reduce crime and incarceration by steering less serious offenders away from prison.
- Strengthens alternatives to imprisonment.
- Clears away barriers to successful re-entry.
- Reductions in probation and prison terms for drug, property, and other nonviolent crimes.
- Elimination of mandatory minimum prison terms.
- Expansion of opportunities for release from prison including for some of Louisiana’s longest-serving inmates.
Certainly, it wasn’t the announcement of the bill passage that is controversial. Louisiana is likely to shed its title of the most incarcerated state, according to Pewtrusts.org.
However, comments about keeping “good” prisoners incarcerated to perform money-saving menial labor, were depicted as a form of modern-day slavery, reports The Washington Post.
On the contrary, “Don’t release nonviolent offenders early.” Prator adds, “Among those are the ones that you can work, that’s the ones that can pick up trash, the work release programs.”
“In addition to the bad ones, and I call these bad, in addition to them, they’re releasing some good ones that we use every day to wash cars, to change oil in our cars, to cook in the kitchens, to do all that where we save money.” In other words, prisoners are cheap labor.
Shaun King, a columnist for the Intercept shared the video. King tweeted, “Watch In 38 seconds Steve Prattor, Sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, tells you why he REALLY likes keeping “good” Black men in jail.
Of course, the Sheriff’s office released a statement. Prator said in a statement: “Many years of public service prove beyond any doubt that I view all persons equally. To say or imply any differently is untruthful.”
In any case, the new state laws will reduce the number of incarcerated residents at the jail. Criminal reform advocates support the effort made in Louisiana.