A large group of faith leaders from across the state plan to rally at the state Capitol this morning for changes to the state's incarceration policies, which they say have led to the problem of mass incarceration in Louisiana.
Baptist minister Thomas Bessix, one of the organizers of the rally, tells Rush Radio the group supports four specific pieces of legislation that would, among other things, lower the penalties for marijuana possession and allow courts to waive mandatory minimum sentences in some cases.
"Our hope is to reduce the number of folks who are incarcerated and maybe shift some of that saved money into educating individuals that they could be more productive citizens in our community," Bessix said.
"We as an organization are standing as a group of faith believers who are saying these laws need to be amended. We need to lookat these laws, we need to adjust these laws."
"We're really allowing a lot of folk's lives to waste away in prison when that does not have to be the case," Bessix said.
The rally begins at 9:30am on the front steps of the Capitol. Afterwards, members of the group will go inside to meet with lawmakers and discuss their positions on the bills.
Organizers are expecting about 250-300 people at the rally.