Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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La. incarcerated highest per capita in nation

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BATON ROUGE - The number of people in prisons in Louisiana is the highest per capita in the nation.

It's costing taxpayers a lot of money, and today, state and local leaders met to address the problems this poses.

Education and time spent in prison was the main focus. It costs Louisiana institutions and average of $35 a day to house an inmate. The money goes toward 24-hour security, food and medical assistance.

Some state leaders say, the sentencing time for non-violent crimes can be shortened. A legislation supported by Governor Jindal's administration includes House Bill 442, which would create the possibility of a one year sentence reduction for non-violent drug offenders who participate in treatment programs.

Rep. Dalton Honore says the state is working to create training programs, to make it easier for inmates to adjust to life after prison.

"If they can't get a decent job, to take care of a family, then they'll wind back up into line, going back to prison," he said. "The economy is picking up, but it's hard to fill these jobs based on their background training."

Training programs would include vocational education to train inmates as plumbers, welders and electricians.



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