I think the number is actually higher,” Michael Ranatza, executive director, said after a budget hearing before state lawmakers in the House Appropriations Committee on Monday (April 9).

Last month, the sheriffs’ association tallied up how many people were sitting in jails without going to trial or receiving a sentence, Ranatza said. The problem is so pervasive that it is eating into sheriffs’ budgets to house the accused for so long, he said.

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“I want you to understand that there are people in the state of Louisiana who have waited over five years to be tried in criminal court,” Ranatza told the committee. “There’s a higher number at the four-year level, about almost 1,200.”

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