Traditionally, Louisiana's Democrats and liberal social justice advocates have pushed for reforms in the state's criminal justice system, asking for more lenient drug sentences, programs to rehabilitate criminals and softer penalties for nonviolent offenders. Those efforts have always run into stiff headwinds from policymakers who preferred a "tough on crime" approach. This year, a Republican-dominated Legislature signed off by large margins on sweeping changes that will trim prison sentences and expand parole opportunities to offenders in prison . . .
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