JAC's legislative priorities are to make expungements more accessible through clean slate legislation and to stop solitary confinement for individuals with mental illness. Learn more about our campaigns and how you can get involved to support these efforts below.
Clean Slate For Louisiana
Nearly 9 in 10 employers, 4 in 5 landlords, and 3 in 5 colleges use background checks to screen applicants by using third party background check companies. Having an arrest or conviction on your record can prevent access to opportunities for advancement - even if you've done your time. Recent University of Michigan research shows that on average, the wages of people who receive expungements increase by more than 20 percent one year after a record has been cleared and that obtaining an expungement is a more effective and inexpensive way to increase wages than job training.
The problem? Louisiana has some of the most expansive expungement law in the country. With the highest filing fees in the nation ($550 to $650) and a process so confusing that most people have to hire a lawyer, most people cannot afford to get an expungement. Even though they've served their time. Even though they have no new convictions.
Clean Slate legislation shifts the burden from the expungement seeker to the government to initiate the expungement, automatically, after waiting periods that are already provided in the law. To read more about Clean Slate, visit our www.jaclouisiana.org/clean-slate. Please also consider joining the clean slate community coalition as we work towards achieving this goal.
Are you interested in advocating for free and full access to expungement in Louisiana? Join the Clean Slate Community Coalition! We are working to advance government-initiated expungement policy so everyone eligible to clear their Louisiana records will have a clean slate.
Stop Solitary Confinement
Louisiana is not only the incarceration capital of the world, but we also have one of the highest rates of the use of solitary and some of the longest-term solitary sentences in the country. Solitary is the prison within the prison where it's sometimes hard to know why you are sentenced, for how long, and how to rejoin the regular prison population. Prohibited from making phone calls, reading, letter writing, exercising, or even regular meals (being served "foodloaf" instead), any extensive amount of time in solitary can cause deterioration of mental health.
The Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition seeks to end the use of solitary confinement by working with and for people who have experienced this inhumane practice. We do this by educating and engaging the public to demand their elected officials and government entities change the culture of prisons and jails.
During the 2020 legislative session, we won a ban on solitary for pregnant women. We are now looking to ban the use of solitary for people with serious mental illness and require training on de-escalation and the mental health consequences of solitary. There are proven alternatives to solitary that keep everyone in the prison safe and don't cause further harm to Louisiana's most vulnerable citizens. Join us to stop this inhumane practice.
Join the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition
Are you interested in advocating to Stop Solitary Confinement in Louisiana? Join the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition! Our goal is to completely end the use of long-term solitary confinement by 2028.