NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - More than a thousand inmates are being released from Louisiana's prisons and jails Wednesday.
Sources tell Fox 8 that the first busload of about 150 inmates is expected to arrive at the New Orleans Office of Parole and Probation around 8 a.m.
The release is part of new laws designed to reduce the state's high jail population.
Five months ago state lawmakers passed a ten bill package to reform criminal justice in the state, including early releases for about 1600 prisoners whose crimes they describe as non-violent
The state's correction secretary Jimmy Leblanc says on average these 1600 inmates are only getting out about 60 days early.
The reduced prison population is expected to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars, with 70 percent of that money required to go into programs designed to help former inmates stay out of jail.
Leblanc said his agency is doing all it can to work with them, even with currently limited funding.
The inmates have received 50 to 100 hours of transitional training before their release. This training will help them line up housing and jobs post release.
Lebanc said public safety isn't at risk and that this is something that needed to happen.
Of the 1,900 prisoners being released early, 78 are from St. Tammany, 23 were convicted in St. Bernard and 10 come from St. John the Baptist Parish.