Louisiana House members support probation extension bill

<p class="p1">BATON ROUGE — Southwest Louisiana House members supported legislation here that rolls back a probation change that was approved last year as part of a 10-bill criminal justice reform package.</p><p class="p3">House Bill 195 by Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Albany, increases a person’s probation period from three to five years. It was approved 61-30 and moves to the Senate. Mack said a longer probation would allow judges more latitude and would ultimately keep offenders out of prison.</p><p class="p3">Voting for the bill were Reps. Mark Abraham, R-Lake Charles; James Armes, D-Leesville; Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur; Stephen Dwight, R-Moss Bluff; A.B. Franklin, D-Lake Charles; and Frank Howard, R-Many. Reps. Johnny Guinn, R-Jennings; Bob Hensgens, R-Abbeville; and Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek, who is on a week’s medical leave, were all recorded as absent..</p><p class="p3">Rep. Joe Marino, No Party, Gretna, was chief spokesman for the opposition. He said supporters of the Mack bill weren’t giving criminal justice reform a chance to prove its success. Opponents are worried about their re-election chances, he said, but they would be supported when the reform effort is successful.</p><p class="p3">Marino said the longer probation will increase the workload of probation and parole officers when each is already handling 140 cases. He said the change isn’t minor, but a substantial setback. </p><p class="p3">Judges wanted the major tweak to last year’s change to give them more authority to extend probation, Mack said, and more authority over earned (good-time) compliance credits they receive while on probation. </p><p class="p3">Mack said the Louisiana District Attorneys Association wanted the change. </p><p class="p3">Gov. John Bel Edwards advocated for last year’s changes that he said will reduce the state’s No. 1 incarceration record and save costs involved that money can be used for better retraining of inmates before they leave prison. </p><p class="p3">He opposed the probation change.</p><p class="p3">District attorneys wanted the change because they said persons preferred to stay on probation for 18 months (half of the three years if on good behavior) rather than participate in drug and other specialty courts.</p><p class="p3">Other legislation on the agenda deals with restitution payments by offenders. </p>

Local News

Pair has passion for civic engagement

Local News

Nonprofit director to retire: Hickman has worked for BArc for 39 years

Local News

Christian Youth Theater opens season with ‘Adam’s Family’

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Let health experts call shots

high-school Football

Jennings High comes to aid of former foe

Local News

Victims of Ida get glimpse of journey ahead

Local News

Support workers not pleased with supplemental pay plan in Jeff Davis

Local News

Only a fraction of funding reimbursed to Cameron by FEMA

Local News

15 child deaths attributed to COVID in La.

Local News

School Board extends COVID-related sick leave policy

Local News

Kind Vibes Only: CPSO hosts one-mile anti-bullying walk

Local News

Sowela rolls out fifth annual Flying Tigers Car Show

Local News

Parents urge Jeff Davis School Board to oppose any vaccine mandate

Local News

City hiring two agencies to help with disaster recovery financial advocacy

Crime

Man arrested in Monday shooting near McNeese campus

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:State’s election system secure

Local News

Transfer of Mallard Cove Golf Course to Chennault complete

Local News

Maplewood schools will remain closed Thursday

Local News

Kinder Future Farmers of America collect, deliver fuel to Lafourche Parish

Local Business News

Disaster assistance request for SW La. makes it to budget

Local Business News

Area LyondellBasell plant receives ISCC PLUS certification

Local Business News

When it comes to headwear, Anne Monlezun and Kevin Mattingly have got you covered

Local Business News

Elizabeth Jimney column: Building a website that works for you

Local Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business