Louisiana’s annual performance report on the criminal justice reform package approved in 2017 finds it has saved the state over 12-million dollars, twice the anticipated savings.

“We’re well ahead of what few have projected with $262 million savings over ten years.   We’re well ahead of where we thought we would be today,” said Louisiana Department of Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc.

And LeBlanc says Louisiana is no longer known for being the incarceration leader it once was. The report highlights a reduced total prison population for the state, falling from around 40-thousand at its peak at the end of 2012.

“Today we are at below 32,000, so that number is roughly 8,700 to 8,800 less today than what we had in 2012,” said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc says after three to five years of the implementation, the state will have a better idea of the recidivism rates under the reforms, but so far so good.

“Last year I think around 800 less people came back into prison, which is a whole prison that didn’t come back because of these reform efforts,” said LeBlanc.