Sheriff Craig Webre

Sabine Heinlein

Many aspects of Louisiana’s criminal justice overhaul go into effect today.

“The prison population grew exponentially, and it became — quite candidly — a cottage industry/prison industrial complex of housing people that were sentenced to jail,” explains LaFourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre, who backed the changes. “Now we are moving away from that model, and there’s going to be some difficulty in that.”


courtesy: The Rouge Collection

How did Louisiana end up with the world’s highest incarceration rate? Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre says it grew out of the late 1980’s national political emphasis on “law and order.”

“The prison population grew exponentially and it became, quite candidly, a cottage industry/prison industrial complex of housing people that were sentenced to jail,” Webre explains.  “And the Louisiana legislature passed laws that the judges enforced.”