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Southern Poverty Law Center;
If Louisiana were a country, it would have the second-highest incarceration rate in the world, behind only Oklahoma. In 2017, the state Legislature enacted long-overdue sentencing reforms to reduce the number of people in prison. Though laudable and necessary, the 2017 legislation is expected to reduce Louisiana's prison population by at most 10percent. It is therefore only the first of many reforms that are needed to shrink Louisiana's bloated prisons.
Sentencing occurs at the end of the criminal justice process, after the accused individual has been apprehended and adjudicated. Policing occurs at the beginning of the process. An officer's decision of whom to stop, cite, and arrestis the gateway to the rest of the system.
Yet Louisianans know shockingly little about police activities in the state – even when compared to other parts of the criminal justice system. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, for example, publishes quarterly updates on all prisoners placed under its jurisdiction, including their sex, race, convictions, and information about their physical and mental health.
Without better data, Louisiana will not be able to evaluate whether or how its law enforcement officers contribute to the state's astronomical incarceration rate and what reforms should be prioritized. Police will not be able to improve their performance or refute criticisms that their practices unfairly target certain groups or that misconduct persists across an entire department. And communities will remain in the dark about how public servants who are licensed to use force carry out their duties.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation;
Explore seven grantee stories, letters from our leaders and a look at our Year in Review – each reaffirming WKKF priorities of thriving children, working families and equitable communities, while highlighting the many levels of dynamic interconnections, essential to lasting change.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation;
The purpose of this report is to highlight the business case for racial equity -- stressing the importance of racial equity as both an imperative for social justice and a strategy for New Orleans' and Louisiana's economic development and growth. As advancing racial equity requires the work of many stakeholders, we hope that the information in this report will be meaningful, useful and actionable for leaders, change agents and influencers within New Orleans' and Louisiana's businesses, communities, and institutions.
As New Orleans completes her 300th year, the tricentennial is an important moment to reflect on the city's history and achievements. But in addition to celebrating their storied past, New Orleanians are eager to learn from it. Since 2005, when Katrina struck and the levees failed, New Orleanians have worked hard to rebuild their city better than before, preserving that which they treasure, while reforming and strengthening their institutions, and increasing opportunities for prosperity. The tricentennial represents an auspicious occasion for both celebration and reflection.
equity-related data in a searchable and comparable format for every Eew Orleans public school
Vera Institute of Justice;
In 2015, government agencies in New Orleans collected $4.5 million in the form of bail, fines and fees from people involved in the criminal justice system and, by extension, from their families. Another $4.7 million was transferred from the pockets of residents to for-profit bail bond agents. These costs have become the subject of considerable public attention. Because many "users" of the system have very low incomes or none at all, there is growing concern that charging for justice amounts to criminalizing poverty, especially when people who can't pay become further entangled in the justice system. In 2015, the city spent $6.4 million to incarcerate people who couldn't pay bail or conviction fines and fees. By focusing on bail decisions and fines and fees assessed at conviction, Past Due, and its accompanying technical report, reveals the costs and other consequences of a system that tries to extract money from low-income people and then jails them when they can't pay.
City of New Orleans;
Assessing the tole of equity in city government using a data driven process that proritizes stakeholder engagement.
Policy Studies Associates, Inc.;
Can schools and community organizations come together to provide children with critical enrichment activities that enhance knowledge and expand horizons beyond core academics during the school day? This report by Policy Studies Associates, Inc., highlights some ways in which they might.
The report investigates schools' use of the ExpandED Schools model, which seeks to use partnerships between public schools, community organizations and intermediary organizations to increase enrichment opportunities for children. In the model, regular school staffers focus largely on core academics, while a community-based organization offers enrichment activities during expanded school hours. A third, intermediary organization often coordinates and supports the effort.
Researchers studied the use of this model in 10 schools in three cities—New York City, Baltimore and New Orleans—over four years. In this report, they identify the parts of the model that were easiest for the schools to implement, parts that proved more challenging and strategies schools used to overcome hurdles along the way.
It finds that the partnerships were generally most successful in adding new activities to an expanded school day and were able to coordinate efforts between school staff and community organizations. But many schools struggled to find reliable sources of funding and to use data to drive programming and instruction.
Vera Institute of Justice;
Everyone in New Orleans deserves to be safe. We rely on our criminal justice agencies—the police, the courts, and the jail—to ensure public safety, so we should ask ourselves regularly: how well is our system working? By looking at who we hold in our jail and why, we can begin to understand the role of detention in keeping our community safe and inform what our jail needs are, both now and going forward.
Until recently, New Orleans led the nation in jail incarceration: before Katrina, we jailed people at a rate five times the national average. The consequences were dramatic for the tens of thousands of people booked into the jail each year who lost their jobs, homes, and even custody of their children. Instead of making us the safest city in America, this over-use of detention destabilized communities.
How are we using detention today? Generally, people are held in jail for any number of reasons. Therefore, unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question of "who is in our jail?" This report aims to advance an important public conversation about how we are using our jail and how it impacts safety in our city.
Greater New Orleans Funders Network;
Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina and the failure of the levees protecting the region unleashed an unprecedented disaster upon one of America's most charismatic cities. Hurricane Rita quickly followed, with Hurricanes Ike, Gustav and Isaac causing additional extensive damage in subsequent years. Punctuating the damage wrought by these storms was the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which killed 11 workers and caused immense additional injury to the natural systems and communities in coastal Louisiana and beyond. This cavalcade of disasters catapulted the region into the national spotlight, prompting questions about whether and how New Orleans could or even should rebuild. But, as has been demonstrated repeatedly over the city's nearly 300-year history, the communities of the Greater New Orleans region have shown phenomenal resilience, adaptive capacity and a commitment to once again building back better than before. Working as a partner to community members and policy-makers, philanthropy has and can continue to play a positive role in that path forward.
This paper serves to set the context of how New Orleans has made progress in some key areas over the past decade, and to invite you to join a conversation about the work we recognize remains to be done. We want to use this moment of reflection together to lift up aspects of what has gone well in the months and years since the storms shone a spotlight on the people of Greater New Orleans, learn from what mistakes were made and assess what opportunities were missed. We recognize that there is not unanimous agreement about these successes and failures, but we invite all perspectives into conversations. Most importantly, we want to look to do better, together, as we tackle the challenges on the road ahead.