As Louisiana prepared to release about 1,600 prison inmates early, the state used programs like Getting Ahead While Getting Out to make sure the nonviolent offenders were ready for life on the outside.

“In this day and age, with reentry programming, it is going to be evidence-based and data-driven programs that we’re using,” says Elain Ellerbe in this interview with Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB).

Ellerbe is author of the chapter “Making Their Time Count: Implementing Bridges and Getting Ahead in a Prison Setting,” which appeared in From Vision to Action, Vol. 1 (free download). Ellerbe is also the state director of the conservative group Right on Crime.

In the LPB interview, Ellerbe says that if the statewide focus is on keeping violent offenders incarcerated while providing rehabilitation programs that get lesser offenders out of prisons, “then we’re saving money. This particular package of bills, once everything is implemented within the next ten years, we’re going lower the prison population by 10%, and the state is going to be saving over $358 million.”