Tomorrow, the Louisiana House will vote on House Bill 138, which would give individuals age 60 or older the right to a hearing before a parole board. The board could then determine whether these individuals can be safely released. In a state that imprisons more people than any other state and where life sentences are increasingly imposed without the possibility of parole, this bill would be a step in the right direction and would save the state a considerable amount of money without negatively impacting public safety.
If you live in Louisiana, TAKE ACTION NOW to let your legislators know that you believe elderly people in prison should have the right to a hearing before a parole board to present their case for release. Tell them it makes no sense to incarcerate people who pose no threat to public safety.
One of the most outspoken people realizing that many of these elderly folks don't need to be locked up is Burl Cain — the warden of Louisiana State Penitentiary, the largest prison in the state. Watch a video documenting the plight of the elderly in one Louisiana prison, featuring Burl Cain calling for reform:
Bills like H.B.138 are a good, common sense step toward ending the incarceration epidemic in Louisiana and across the nation.