It’s moving day at the Orleans Parish Prison. Starting Monday morning, inmates will be taken to the new $145 million jail next door.

A juvenile justice reformer whose tactics to help troubled kids triggered nationwide changes in the justice system died earlier this month. The late Jerome G. Miller’s philosophy touched Caddo Parish, according to Caddo Juvenile Services Director Clay Walker.

“Fundamentally, that’s everything that we’re doing is from his model,” Walker said.

In the 1970s, Miller almost emptied the prison-like reformatories in Massachusetts and found avenues around incarceration as that state’s youth services commissioner.

Digital Archaeology / CoDiFi via Flickr

The New Orleans jail is up for discussion today. The city's Inspector General is pleading with officials to keep the new jail on track, and expenses within budget.

Glenn Ford, the Shreveport man exonerated last year after spending 30 years on death row, died yesterday.

Ford was 33 years old when he was wrongfully convicted of killing a Shreveport jeweler and sent to solitary confinement on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Nearly three decades later, the longest-serving death row inmate in the country was released.

Ford petitioned the state for compensation for his wrongful conviction. He received only $20 for a bus ride.

A federal judge in New Orleans has ordered the release of an inmate held in solitary confinement for more than 40 years. He’s the last prisoner in a case known as the Angola Three.

Micah Project

The Micah Project develops a base of youth leaders to mitigate gun violence and eliminate the school to prison pipeline.

Meet Dolfinette Martin.

“I did 7 years, 4 months, 26 days in LA Correction Institute for Women. That was my 4th prison stay, but by God’s grace, my last.”

Dolfinette Martin had five children when she went to prison – for shoplifting – what she saw at the time as her only way of providing for her kids.

While the Senate Finance Committee began working through the budget Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee was taking public testimony on it.

“Thank you for coming today for this testimony,” Appropriations chair Jim Fannin said in welcome, noting the weather made it more difficult than usual for many who turned up to add their input to the process. “We are appreciative for that,” he said.

Much of the public testimony went as expected: requests for higher allocations to cover jobs and services.

While Chiffonda Hampton was serving three years in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, she met Tonja Myles, a Peer Support Specialist with Capital Area Human Services. Myles was offering wellness classes to inmates with mental illness. Those classes taught Hampton how to cope with the anger of being abused as a child and basic life skills she had never learned before. Now that Hampton is out of prison, she continues to check in with Myles at CAHS.

The House Appropriations committee combed through the Department of Corrections budget Tuesday, and testimony confirmed what many criminal justice reform advocates have long said: this state has the nation’s highest per capita incarceration rate.

Marrero Rep. Patrick Connick pitched the big question.

“The inmates, in 27 years, have increased 110 percent. And the population of Louisiana has increased 9 percent over the same period. How do you explain that?” Connick asked Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc.

Mental Illness Lands Many in Parish Prison

Mar 9, 2015

When someone having a mental health crisis is picked up by Baton Rouge Police, they often end up inside parish prison. Sources at Capitol Area Human Services estimate between 30 and 50 percent of inmates there are suffering with a mental illness.