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State and local lawmakers look to task forces to combat crime

1 year 6 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, October 26 2022 Oct 26, 2022 October 26, 2022 9:59 PM October 26, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Like most Louisianans, Republican State Representative Alan Seabaugh is fed up with violent crime.

"It's a statewide issue. It's a problem in rural areas. It's a problem really in every corner of Louisiana," he said.

The Shreveport politician is drafting legislation to create the Louisiana Violent Crime Task Force for the 2023 legislative session.

"I think we need to get all the stakeholders, whether its sheriffs, or DA's or mayors or local police chiefs or criminal defense attorneys or whoever. Get everybody on board, and lets sit down in a room and lets study it and lets figure out why we are having the problem we are having, and lets come up with some fact-based solutions to see what we can do going forward."

According to Seabaugh, crime skyrocketed shortly after the Justice Reinvestment Initiatve in 2017, which was a plan to keep non-violent offenders out of prison and release some inmates back into society.

"When you let half of your prison population out of prison and crime goes up shortly thereafter, there seems to be a connection. There are people who deny the relationship. It's completely separate, and it might be. I think we need to look at it and see."

It should be noted, according to the plan, only about 10 percent of prisoners are to be released over a period of 10 years.

Nevertheless, last year Baton Rouge saw its highest homicide rate on record, and though it may be a shock to some, this year, killings are actually lower than they were this time in the last two years.

On a local level, East Baton Rouge Metro Council member Jen Racca is spearheading a similar initiative.

An ordinance, which was supposed to be introduced at Wednesday's council meeting but got deferred due to time, will establish a public safety committee to try and develop recommendations to fight crime.

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