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.
Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 10:10 am
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.
Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 9:04 am
When Earl K. Long Hospital closed nearly two years ago, LSU’s private partner in Baton Rouge — Our Lady of the Lake — took over patient care, but refused to take care of inmates. That meant a whole lot of scrambling for Angola Warden Burl Cain.
A grand jury has indicted an Orleans Parish sheriff's deputy in connection with a stabbing inside Orleans Parish Prison.
The Sheriff's Office said 42-year-old John Dupart was charged with counts of malfeasance in office and principal to aggravated battery. The Sheriff's Office says Dupart did not follow procedures, which resulted in an altercation at the jail.
Dupart is not accused of taking part in any violent act himself. His attorney says the allegation is that Dupart didn't stop a fight.