The Department of Corrections consists of three main divisions:
Corrections Services oversees the custody and care of adults in prison and includes adults under probation and parole supervision.
Public Safety Services encompasses Louisiana State Police, the Office of Motor Vehicles, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Highway Safety Commission.
The Office of Juvenile Justice oversees the juvenile justice system in Louisiana.
The Secretary, who is appointed by the Governor, serves as the Department’s chief executive officer. The Corrections Services Deputy Secretary, Undersecretary, and Chief of Operations all report directly to the Secretary.
The Secretary, James M. Le Blanc, is responsible for the functioning and control of all programs within the Department. He formulates rules and regulations and determines policy regarding management, personnel, and total operations. He leads and supports central office and field unit staff, which are charged with carrying out the work of the agency.
About Secretary Le Blanc
Secretary James M. Le Blanc has worked for the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections for more than 40 years. He has served the past 11 years as Secretary, being appointed to the Cabinet position by two governors.
Le Blanc enlisted in the United States Army and served during the Vietnam War. After an honorable discharge in 1971, he returned to school and received a B.A. in Business Administration from Southeastern Louisiana University in December 1972.
His career in corrections began in 1973 at Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women. Le Blanc promoted through the ranks, serving as Undersecretary (1992-1995), interim Director of Probation and Parole (1998-1999), Warden at Dixon Correctional Institute for 12 years, and Acting Chief of Operations (2007).
Secretary Le Blanc’s commitment to Louisiana’s justice system includes a focus on the fundamental importance of public safety while giving all citizens the opportunity to live productive lives. He routinely emphasizes “reentry” as a major factor of the Department’s mission. Reentry is his passion. Le Blanc believes that establishing valuable, real-world vocational, educational and life skills training for people in prison is one of the keys to ensuring the core mission of public safety. Reducing Louisiana’s number one (in the world) incarceration rate is a tall order, but Le Blanc’s enthusiasm for seeing people who are formerly or currently imprisoned succeed is all the motivation this leader needs.
His many awards include being selected as the National Association of Wardens and Superintendents (NAAWS) “Warden of the Year.”
Under the authority of the Deputy Secretary, executive services are managed, including Legal Services, Crime Victim Services Bureau, Internal Audit, and the Office of Offender Reentry. The Deputy Secretary’s Office also represents the Department’s support of community service and philanthropic initiatives (i.e. Combined Charitable Campaign, Keep Louisiana Beautiful, American Heart Association, Correctional Peace Officer Foundation, etc.). The deputy secretary serves as the Department’s custodian of records and as the central point for all public records requests, in addition to any other duties and functions assigned by the secretary.
The Crime Victims Services Bureau (CVSB) coordinates the registration and of notification to victims of changes in an imprisoned person’s status, training and education to staff and the community on the Department’s victims services in addition to supporting restorative justice initiatives. The CVSB is the central point for victim and victim related issues in the Department and also manages the Victim-Offender Dialogue (VOD) program.
Under the authority of the undersecretary, the Office of Management and Finance provides management support to all units in activities involving fiscal management, grant administration, information services, food services, maintenance and construction, performance audit, procurement and contractual review, human resources, and the Prison Enterprises Division. The undersecretary serves as chief of staff for headquarters operations and, as such, coordinates policies and addresses organizational issues that impact the Department.
Under the authority of the assistant secretary, the Office of Offender Reentry is responsible for the development and management of reentry programming. The program uses innovative approaches such as resource building, sound policy, and collaborative efforts among agencies to support an imprisoned person’s successful reintegration into society so that he/she can be a productive citizen upon release from prison.
Under the direction of the chief of operations, the Office of Adult Services (OAS) provides administrative oversight of and support for the operational programs of the adult institutions and provides technical assistance to local jail facilities. The chief of operations leads and directs the Department’s operational audit teams, which conduct audits of all adult institutions, non-secure contract facilities, and community work release centers and assists all units with matters relative to the maintenance of American Correctional Association (ACA) accreditation. OAS staff support the Administrative Remedy Procedure and disciplinary appeal processes, screen and recommend imprisoned people for participation in work release, and maintain central office ACA accreditation. There are nine adult institutions under the broad authority of chief of operations, including two operated under contractual agreements with private management corporations (Allen Correctional Center and Winn Correctional Center).
Under the direction of the deputy secretary, the Division of Probation and Parole functions as a community services division and is comprised of 21 district offices located throughout the state and a headquarters office in Baton Rouge. Probation and parole officers are POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certified and supervise adults in DOC custody who are released to the community on probation, parole, diminution of sentence, home incarceration, medical furlough, or supervised released. Officers also supervise formerly imprisoned people who relocate to Louisiana from other states. They ensure people on community supervision abide by the conditions of supervision, identify problems and solutions, make appropriate referrals, provide general counseling, and perform arrests as needed to protect public safety. Officers’ duties include visiting people on probation or parole primarily in their homes, at work, other places in the community, and in the office. The Division is actively involved in the Department’s efforts to reduce recidivism through a variety of programs such as administrative sanctions and Day Reporting Centers.
Officers in the Division also provide investigative services to decision makers in the criminal justice system, including judges, and the Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole. They also oversee the collection of victim restitution, supervision fees, and a variety of criminal justice fees.
Prison Enterprises operates a diversified group of industry and agriculture operations located at nine different correctional facilities throughout Louisiana. These operations provide work opportunities to approximately 1,000 – 1,200 imprisoned people in over 30 different industry and agriculture programs.
Today, there are approximately 18,500 people incarcerated in state correctional facilities. The mission of Prison Enterprises is to lower the costs of incarceration by providing productive job opportunities to people in prison that instill occupational and skills training while producing quality products and services for sale to state and local governments, non-profit organizations, political subdivisions, and others. Operation of Prison Enterprises’ programs serves to further the Department of Corrections Reentry Initiative by enabling people in prison to increase their potential for successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Prison Enterprises, a division of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, operates a diversified group of industry, agriculture and service programs located at eight state correctional facilities throughout Louisiana. These operations provide unique work opportunities and job training for imprisoned people that may otherwise be unavailable. These jobs teach people in prison valuable skills as well as a work ethic and a sense of responsibility; all of which are vital for eventual re-entry into society and/or contribute to stability and security within the prison. The trades people in prison learn through Prison Enterprises’ operations include, but are not limited to sewing, carpentry, welding, various equipment operation, printing, embroidery, silk screening, and farming. People in prison with a Prison Enterprise’s job receive incentive pay. As established in Louisiana Revised Statutes, Prison Enterprises also pays incentive pay for all other imprisoned people who are working within the Department of Corrections, thereby relieving that burden from the general fund.
Act 714 of the 2012 Legislative Session, which became effective August 1, 2012, merged the duties, functions, and powers of the Board of Pardons with that of the Board of Parole, creating a Committee on Parole. Act 714 also expanded the membership of the Board of Pardons from five members to seven, with the additional 2 members serving at-large only on the Committee on Parole and who do not serve as a member of the Board of Pardons.
All members of the Board are appointed by the governor and are subject to confirmation by the Louisiana Senate. There are five members of the Board of Pardons. The Committee on Parole, a committee within the Board of Pardons, is composed of the five members of the Board of Pardons, and two at-large members appointed by the governor. The at-large members serve only as members of the Committee on Parole and do not serve as members of the Board of Pardons.
In addition to the appointed members, there is an ex-officio member of the Board. The warden, or in his absence the deputy warden, of the correctional facility in which the person is incarcerated serves as the ex-officio member. The ex-officio member is not a voting member nor is he counted for the purposes of the members necessary to take Board action.
The Board considers applications for pardon, sentence commutations, and restoration of rights and privileges of citizenship. All of the Board’s recommendations for clemency are forwarded to the governor for final action. There is no time limit within which the governor must take action on any recommendation for favorable consideration by the Board of Pardons.
The Committee on Parole is the sole authority for granting parole in Louisiana. It grants or denies parole to eligible imprisoned people and sets supervision conditions for people not only released by action of the Committee but also those released by diminution of sentence. The Committee also holds hearings for people under community supervision who are facing revocation for violating the conditions of their supervision.
Click here for more information on the Board of Pardons and Parole.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections creates a safer Louisiana by providing correctional programs committed to the protection of the public; safety of our staff; security of people in prison; services to those victimized by crime; and opportunities for positive behavioral change in those remanded to our custody and/or supervision.
We achieve our vision through safe, secure prison operations and community correctional programs, development and implementation of effective criminal justice policies for Louisiana, and the provision of rehabilitative opportunities for imprisoned people that supports their successful transition into the community.
Our goals and priorities are built around our Department’s commitment to public safety and rehabilitation and serve to guide our performance in carrying out our mission.
We provide for the safety of staff and people in prison by maintaining an organized and disciplined system of operations. All employees are provided training on the principles of the Code of Ethics of the American Correctional Association to demonstrate our commitment to professional and compassionate service. Our employees conduct their duties and responsibilities with a high degree of integrity and a respect for the value and dignity of human life.
We provide services relating to food, clothing and shelter. We are further committed to delivering quality and cost-effective health care services that maintain medical and behavioral health services during a person’s incarceration, and to prepare him/her for release by providing linkage to care in the community.
We promote moral rehabilitation through program participation and provide an environment for people in prison that encourages positive behavior change. On behalf of individuals demonstrating motivation for change and a desire to participate in programming, the Department seeks educational, rehabilitative, and productive work opportunities, either within the institution or in the community for individuals under supervision.
Through the opportunities to work and volunteer in prison jobs and educational programs, make restitution, participate in community restorative initiatives, and communicate in victim-initiated victim-offender dialogue, people in prison are able to repair and/or learn from the harm caused by their crime. We believe that victims of crime have the right to an active role in shaping how their needs can be met.
We recognize the role of community participation and support in the successful delivery of our vision and mission. By using evidence-based practices and following criminal justice reform legislation, we will increase compliance with conditions of parole supervision and the ability of returning residents to reintegrate with the end goal of safely reducing recidivism within Louisiana. We are committed to working with the public to reduce barriers and stigma faced by returning residents that hinder their successful reintegration upon their return to our communities.