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Thu Oct 3, 2019, 03:59 AM

Public safety emerges as campaign issue in Louisiana governor's race

Halfway into Gov. John Bel Edwards’ first term in office, Louisiana shed a dubious distinction that it had held for nearly two decades: The state was no longer the nation’s prison capital.

Oklahoma took the mantel as the top incarcerating state one year after state lawmakers, at Edwards’ urging, adopted a landmark, bipartisan criminal justice overhaul package.

The change will arguably be one of Edwards’ lasting legacies long after he’s left office, but it’s also providing campaign fodder to his main Republican rivals in this fall’s gubernatorial race who have questioned whether Louisiana residents are safer today than they were before Edwards took office and whether the Edwards administration bungled the criminal justice reform effort.

“We’ve got to implement this in a way so that public safety is issue No. 1,” said Rep. Ralph Abraham, of Alto.

Read more: https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/elections/article_a6bf3d36-e2d0-11e9-aa92-dbba0b23e1f1.html

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