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Man granted early release from prison in mass release this month back in jail

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BATON ROUGE – A man released from prison under a new state program that allowed roughly 1,900 inmates to go free is back in jail after he refused to leave the federal courthouse downtown because he had no other place to go.

Robert Wells, 28, was booked into the East Baton Rouge parish jail last week for a charge that essentially means he refused to leave the area. Security guards at the courthouse on Florida Boulevard told Wells to leave the area repeatedly and he refused, according to documents outlining his arrest.

Eventually, Wells told authorities he was not going to leave because he had nowhere else to go and wanted “to stay to see a judge.”

Wells, whose last known address was on Redlands Drive in Baton Rouge, was among the group released on Nov. 1 under the new Justice Reinvestment Act. The state has said it was cutting sentences short for inmates who were nearing parole in an effort to save nearly $250 million over the next ten years.

"We're all afraid one of these guys is going to do something wrong, but, from my perspective, I can't overreact to those kinds of things,” prisons chief Jimmy LeBlanc said previously.

“I have to stay the course here, because I know it's going to work," he said.

Wells was serving time for numerous burglaries. He was released about 112 days early.

CLICK HERE to see the previous story about the release and to access a database of names of people who were released early. 

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