Stephen Waguespack is the current President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, better known around the state as LABI. It is the state’s Chamber of Commerce organization. Today, Stephen Waguespack has a Guest Column in The Advocate which makes the case that lawmakers should support the criminal justice reform compromise being proposed in the Louisiana legislature.

Over the next decade, the package in its current form would save the state $262 million and reinvest 70 percent of the savings — more than $183 million — into programs that would rehabilitate inmates with drug treatment and job training, as well as aid the victims of crime.

These reforms are a compromise product of successful negotiations between law enforcement, legislative leaders and other state officials. This package enjoys broad support from business groups like the one I am proud to represent, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, which represents more than 2,200 businesses and 324,000 employees in Louisiana. From our point of view, the status quo is unacceptable and has damaged our state, our people, and our economy. Reform is definitely needed.

He goes on to discuss the considerable costs of how Louisiana currently runs its criminal justice system and the fallout we’ve seen from that both in terms of economics and public safety.