On Tuesday August 27, 2013, Louisiana’s Governor Bobby Jindal signed two new bills into law that he says will make the criminal justice system work more efficiently.
- HB 416 – First time non-violent offenders will serve less time behind bars.
- HB 414 – Clarifies how inmates are credited for good behavior.
The new bills sought to address recommendation by judges, attorneys and law enforcement who are members of the Louisiana Sentencing Commission.
House Bill 416 (HB 416) authored by Rep. Joseph Lopinto, Republican of Metairie, targets the first time offender who has been convicted of a non-violent or of a non-sex related offense. Prior to HB 416, these offenders would have had to serve a third of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. HB 416 reduces the time by 25%. Rep. Lopinto indicated that the change applies only to those individuals sentenced on or after August 15, 2011.
According to Rep. Lopinto, HB 416 seeks to encourage inmates to participate in jail programs that will increase their chances for parole; such as drug rehabilitation, or a high school equivalency diploma. Rep. Lopinto said that another benefit of HB 416 is the cost saving to the state; less inmates serving less time in jail.
The Baton Rouge Advocates reports that The Legislative Fiscal Office has stated that the state locked up more than 4,000 first-time offenders last year who did not commit violent or sex-related crimes. During roughly that same time frame, the office said, the state Parole Board granted 28 percent of parole applications.
House Bill 414 (HB 414) deals with a more complicated issue that is the computation of the so called “good time” inmates receive for good behavior as well as the rules that determine how this reward is decided. According to the author of the new bill, HB414 seeks to simply the process and does not try to increase or reduce time an inmate receives for good behavior.
Please remember that this is not intended to be legal advice. We only seek to inform our readers on matters that might be of importance to our clients. You may call the office of Attorney Martin E. Regan, Jr. if you wish to have an evaluation of your case at no cost to you.
About Martin E. Regan, Jr.
Year after year, Martin E. Regan Jr., the firm’s senior partner, has dedicated tireless efforts on behalf of the accused and produce wins for clients that a less determined advocate would have thought hopeless. Martin E. Regan Jr.’s ability to tackle and win tough criminal cases has resulted in verdicts of acquittal in many highly publicized trials.