U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, Judge Jules Edwards III and a host of social-justice activists will convene tonight for a panel discussion with Times-Picayune reporter Cindy Chang about her eight-part series, “Louisiana Incarcerated.”
The forum, sponsored by Dr. Andre Perry’s Orleans Place Matters initiative, will be at 6 p.m. today (Wednesday, June 20) in Loyola University’s Roussel Hall in the Communications/Music Complex on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Calhoun Street.
For details, see the emailed announcement from Orleans Place Matters:
Loyola University’s Institute for Quality and Equity in Education, in conjunction with the Foundation for Louisiana, will host “Louisiana Incarcerated: An Evening with Cindy Chang,” a panel discussion convened to examine the multifaceted issue of the business of incarceration in Louisiana.
Chang, special projects reporter for The Times-Picayune and author of the acclaimed eight-part series, “Louisiana Incarcerated,” will discuss what she learned while writing the articles, as well as share the reactions she’s received. Chang’s report indicated that 40,000 people are locked up in Louisiana prisons, and the state’s incarceration rate is the highest in the world, nearly 13 times that of China.
“This discussion comes at an obvious juncture. Louisiana and New Orleans in particular can’t sustain the social and economic costs of mass incarceration,” said Andre Perry, Ph.D., co-host of the event and associate director for the Institute for Quality and Equity in Education. “Our communities deserve the solutions that this discussion should spark.”
The event will be held on June 20 at 6 p.m. in the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Calhoun Street.
The panel will also feature some of Louisiana’s top law enforcement and elected officials, as well as former prisoners and criminal justice advocates:
James Letten, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Marlin Gusman, Orleans Parish sheriff
Rep. Wesley Bishop, Louisiana House of Representatives, District 99
Flozell Daniels, CEO and president, Foundation for Louisiana
Norris Henderson, executive director, Voice of the Ex-Offender
Dana Kaplan, executive director, Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana
Melissa Sawyer, executive director, Youth Empowerment Project
Adrienne Wheeler, J.D. ’11, director, Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana
Jules D. Edwards III, Judge, 15th Judicial District Court