Community

Jesse Hardman

WWNOs community engagement project the Listening Post is back with a new episode.

While the service industry looms large for locals looking to make some money, those jobs don’t necessary help people make ends meet, or take care of their families.

With some new industries flexing their muscles in town, some new career options are starting to take hold, but will that mean jobs and leverage for young adults in the city?

 

We asked folks around town the following questions.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Now that Marlene Kennedy finally has her own apartment, she doesn't have to worry where she'll sleep each night.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Louisiana is the incarceration capital of the world. But most people behind bars aren’t locked up forever. In fact, 90 percent of them will someday be released. So that makes Louisiana also the reentry capital of the world-- a role the state is ill-prepared for.

Before this month's shooting in Orlando, the deadliest attack on gay people in the U.S. happened at the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans. On this date in 1973, someone set fire to that bar in the French Quarter, killing 32 people.

No one was ever charged with the arson. And though it remains the deadliest fire in the city's history, neither the mayor nor the governor spoke about it then.

Calvin Manny Hills and his oldest sister, Johnnie Mae Hills Sylve, get together for a Father's Day party.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

In nearly every state, prison populations have exploded -- in large part, because of drug laws and the people, like Manny Hills, who are arrested and incarcerated for those laws. Over the last 25 years, Manny, an addict, has been convicted several times for drug possession and other petty crimes. His story is pretty typical of the people who fill up our nation's prisons.

15-year-old Jewel Williams, in Sunny Summer's third period English class at Sci High.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Over the last forty years, as incarceration has surged across the nation, so has the number of children with a family member in prison. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the number of young people with a father in prison rose 500 percent between 1980 and 2000.


Courtesy of The First 72+

The First 72+ seeks to stop the cycle of incarceration by fostering independence and self-sustainability.

 

Imagine you've just spent years, maybe decades, incarcerated. You’ve paid your debt to society, and upon release, you're given a bus ticket and $10. But, that’s not $10 cash. It’s a $10 check that you can’t immediately cash because more than likely you don’t have a social security card, a state ID, a bank account, transportation, or family to help you out.

 

Jesse Hardman / Listening Post

A few months ago a housing notice went up on the local Craigslist page with the provocative headline: "3 bedroom, 900 square feet, God Damn, Someone Get Me Out Of New Orleans."  The author went on to write: "Once the city was built for people like me, times change, now it's built for you." 

This sentiment, that New Orleans is no longer affordable to longtime residents, has been getting louder lately.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards at the rally at the Capitol on Youth Justice Day.
Sarah Hunt / Louisiana Center for Children's Rights

At all levels of government right now, laws about juveniles are rapidly changing. However, some states, including Louisiana, continue to prosecute and sentence juveniles for sentences of life without parole.

Asha Lane, high school senior.
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

Asha Lane is an 18-year-old senior at the International High School of New Orleans, a charter high school. Asha wanted to find out why New Orleans charter schools don’t always feel nurturing. We live in a dangerous city, but when does security feel unsafe?

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