Gov. John Bel Edwards has made a commitment to seek genuine reforms for the Louisiana prison system.

I am also pleased that he made the decision to reappoint Jimmy LeBlanc as the Department of Corrections secretary.

Over the past eight years, under the guidance of LeBlanc, the state has seen practical and positive changes throughout corrections. His vision for reducing prison population through job training, transitional housing, educational opportunities and viable reform measures, to “good time” rules and supervised early release have been crucial for reforms, and he is supportive of work-release programs.

I have worked closely with LeBlanc, and I look forward to continue working with him and our governor as we develop “smart on crime” legislation and seek other alternatives to incarceration for various offenses. We must remove the stigma of being the “incarceration capital” and help with reforms that allows “returning citizens” the ability to become productive tax-paying citizens in Louisiana.

Patricia Smith

state representative, District 67

Baton Rouge