Calcasieu DA addresses proposed prison reforms - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu DA addresses proposed prison reforms

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

The United States Justice Department wants to change the way the federal government sends people to prison.

KPLC asked Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier what that means for Southwest Louisiana.    

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, for every 100,000 Louisiana residents, 867 of them are imprisoned. It's the highest rate of incarceration in the world.

"We've been putting people in prison in Louisiana or 200 years now, and it has not worked as well as it should work," DeRosier said.

Attorney General Eric Holder wants prison reform, not just in Louisiana but nationwide. He has announced getting rid of prison minimums for first-time drug offenders and allowing state and local prosecutors to pursue lesser crimes.

"Today, a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities," Holder said.

But Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier said there's something else that needs to be done.

"We -- particularly the federal government -- need to put money into re-entry programs, into drug court programs, into different types of programs that help rehabilitate people," DeRosier said.

DeRosier boasts what's already being done in Calcasieu Parish as a model for what can be done in other places.

"For example in our DWI programs ... Our objective is not to put impaired drivers in jail. Our objective is to keep impaired drivers off the highway and from behind the wheel of an automobile," DeRosier said.

Reinforcing the idea that in some cases, second chances are more beneficial than years in prison.

"Our goal is to keep them from becoming 2nd and 3rd offenders. That's why we have programs that are both short term in diversion and probation and the long term in the form of the prosecutors early intervention program," he said.

In addition to the change in prison minimums, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is asking that federal prosecutors go after serious crimes and leave crimes lesser in nature to state and local prosecutors.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Lake Charles opens time capsule buried 50 years ago

    Saturday, May 27 2017 9:24 AM EDT2017-05-27 13:24:56 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

    On Friday Mayor Randy Roach helped pull out history - 50 years worth, to be exact.

    In 1967 a time capsule was buried in front of historic Lake Charles City Hall, and many had different ideas of what could be buried inside. 

    More >>

    On Friday Mayor Randy Roach helped pull out history - 50 years worth, to be exact.

    In 1967 a time capsule was buried in front of historic Lake Charles City Hall, and many had different ideas of what could be buried inside. 

    More >>
  • Summer reading fun underway in Calcasieu Parish

    Summer reading fun underway in Calcasieu Parish

    Friday, May 26 2017 11:02 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:02:13 GMT
    (Source: Calcasieu Parish Public Library)(Source: Calcasieu Parish Public Library)

    The Calcasieu Parish Public Library annual summer reading program is underway. The kick-off celebration was held at Prien Lake Park. It included registration, face painting, kite flying, bird house building and even Clifford the Big Red Dog. The reading program runs from now until July 7.

    More >>

    The Calcasieu Parish Public Library annual summer reading program is underway. The kick-off celebration was held at Prien Lake Park. It included registration, face painting, kite flying, bird house building and even Clifford the Big Red Dog. The reading program runs from now until July 7.

    More >>
  • Parents of Gage Meche suing man they blame for gun being brought to school

    Parents of Gage Meche suing man they blame for gun being brought to school

    Friday, May 26 2017 10:18 PM EDT2017-05-27 02:18:02 GMT
    Gage Meche (Source: Facebook)Gage Meche (Source: Facebook)

    Gage Meche has thousands of people rooting for him and a family spokesman says it means a lot.  But attorney Ron Richard says the child's parents want action against the man they believe is responsible, they're suing Michael Lane Dugas.. “They are on a roller coaster of emotions:  anger, sadness, fear, angst and wanting to feel like they're doing something about this matter. 

    More >>

    Gage Meche has thousands of people rooting for him and a family spokesman says it means a lot.  But attorney Ron Richard says the child's parents want action against the man they believe is responsible, they're suing Michael Lane Dugas.. “They are on a roller coaster of emotions:  anger, sadness, fear, angst and wanting to feel like they're doing something about this matter. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly