"Louisiana is the poster child for criminal justice improvement," says Louisiana State Secretary of Public Safety and Corrections, Jimmy Le Blanc.
"We lock up more than any other state per 100,000 and our rate of violent crime is higher than most, so this hard on crime sell just isn't working.
Put it all together and you have a state with overcrowded prisons and parish jails.
Part of the problem is mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenses, a nationwide scourge.
"The longer you've been in prison, the quicker you go back," says Le Blanc
"That's a proven fact."
When Le Blanc served as warden at Dixon State Prison, he brought the recidivism rate down to 38 percent from 47 percent on the strength of progressive re-entry initiatives.
"Most of it is common sense stuff," he
"We make sure our inmates have a residence plan, a job or a potential job, and a continuum of care for substance abuse and mental health.
Before release, inmates also go through a basic risk-and-needs assessment, like the one implemented in South Carolina, to determine what kind of education or vocational training they want or need and there's a community care component too.
is even working to get some parole and probation cases into the hands of community social workers rather than law enforcement officers.
The reason is clear, according to Le Blanc