criminal justice

Bruce Reilly

Bring Your Own is a nomadic storytelling series that takes place in unconventional spaces within the community. Each month, eight storytellers have eight minutes to respond to a theme. BYO airs on All Things New Orleans and is a biweekly podcast on WWNO.org.

This story was told on March 3rd, 2016 at the Michalopoulos Studio, and later produced by Laine Kaplan-Levenson. The theme of the evening was 'Born on Parole' and Bruce Reilly talks the trials and tribulations of dating, while on Parole.

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.


Louisiana's hate-crime protections now cover law enforcement and first responders. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation on Thursday after it had passed easily in the Republican-controlled Legislature, NPR's Debbie Elliott reports.

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?

A nonprofit monitoring New Orleans courts says that more than 10 years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed evidence kept in a basement that flooded, evidence remains at risk. It’s recommending alternative storage be used, and other improvements inside courtrooms are needed.

Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

In the last few years, powerful images of police interacting violently with African Americans -- usually men, or teenagers, or even children -- have been on the news, all over the world.

In these images, black men are getting shot or choked or hauled away in handcuffs. There are others too, memorial photographs from happier times: of young boys with plump cheeks or wearing graduation caps. Photographs of Eric Garner, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald – the list goes on.

The Listening Post is back collecting thoughts and experiences from communities around New Orleans on a new series of issues. The past month we’ve been collaborating with Independent radio producer Eve Abrams and her Unprisoned project. 

Jahi Salaam
Cheryl Gerber / Unprisoned

“If you grew up struggling, then you my audience,” says Jahi Salaam, an 18-year-old rapper and a poet. Jahi is from New Orleans. His first name, Jahi, means dignity in Swahili. His last name means peace. When Jahi talks about poverty, school, and prison, he says: they’re all intertwined.

This is Unprisoned.  I’m Eve Abrams.

A national bipartisan group working on criminal justice reform is backing three House bills in the Louisiana Legislature. They’re aimed at making it easier for people leaving prison to re-enter the community.

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