JAC Blog

As part of a newly developed article series from the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana (JAC), the following covers topical issues within criminal justice policy. As JAC seeks to develop reform-oriented programming, of which delivers both cost effective and socially just solutions, the forthcoming series will explore trends and policy positions as well as offer commentary on developments in both Baton Rouge and Washington D.C. 

Closer Look: The “who” in our work

The Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana (JAC) promotes criminal justice reforms by developing and advocating for sensible, cost-effective policy that adheres to the tenets of fundamental rights and human dignity. In pursuing these ends, we recognize the state of incarceration both at a national and state level as grossly inflated. The human footprint of this nation’s prisons has grown exponentially since the 1980s when “zero tolerance” policies were enacted and private facilitation came into vogue[1]. Now, in the shadows of an incarcerated population exceeding 2 million Americans, annual expenditures surpass even higher education commitments in many states[2]. The result is a radi

What's in a streetlight?

I was recently driving a section of the interstate (I10 as we know it here in New Orleans) and noticed streetlight after streetlight was conspicuously dark. I began noticing more streetlights out in neighborhoods, on streets, and in commonly used corridors. Had it not been for my headlights, much of what was before me would have gone unseen. I started to think about how other people interpreted these outages and what is means for the social and civic health of communities. While to some this deficit in infrastructure may not been reason for concern, it reminded me of a body of work in criminology that looks at the factors of our environment that contribute to crime and how we can reduce crim

Equality in Louisiana's Prisons

The American Prison is a harsh landscape offering few pleasant accommodations, designed solely for retribution and restitution. Being incarcerated means learning to retool and refashion routines and methods for daily life. The simplest tasks, like taking a shower, become a challenging exercise of negotiation. Consider what most people need for a shower: soap at the very least and in some instances, a razor or conditioner. These sundry items are, to those on the outside, easily accessible. These can easily be added to a routine grocery shopping list and picked up when convenient. But for the prisoner, choices must be made about what to buy and how it is best rationed out, dependent on earned

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