Criminal Justice

Several obstacles challenge human trafficking crackdown in Louisiana

BY: - November 29, 2022

A 2019 police sweep that targeted illegal prostitution at massage parlors in Calcasieu Parish shut down about a dozen of the businesses, according to Benjamin White, who worked undercover for the sheriff’s office. It resulted in about 35 arrests, including some of the key people involved in trafficking the women forced to work there. A […]

Actor and veterans advocate Jon Stewart speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol

Thousands of veterans deluge VA with claims for toxic exposure benefits, health care

BY: - November 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is processing claims at the fastest rate in its history, hoping to avoid a significant backlog as hundreds of thousands of veterans apply for health care and benefits under the landmark toxic exposure law Congress passed earlier this year.  The day after President Joe Biden signed the […]

The Big Drag Bus

Gay bar owners seek to increase security in the wake of shooting of a gay nightclub in Colorado

BY: - November 23, 2022

Over the past year, Wendy McCown-Williams has noted how heated political discussions about the transgender community had affected her business. McCown-Williams, a transgender woman, has owned a gay bar in rural Tennessee for six years and welcomed everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or political leanings. Drag shows have been a common occurrence at her bar, […]

Zach Binney, his wife Amy and their six-month-old son Jacob.

Georgia’s on-again, off-again abortion restrictions create doubt for fertility treatments

BY: - November 22, 2022

ATLANTA – On Friday, Zach Binney, an assistant professor at Emory University’s Oxford College, brought his work stuff to the temple where his six-month old son Jacob goes to daycare. He spent the day working in the temple library instead of his office so he could spend 20 minutes with the baby during midday Shabbat […]

A screen capture of police dashboard camera video shows Rapides Sheriff's Deputy Rodney Anderson struggling with motorist Derrick Kittling

Video shows Rapides deputy’s fatal shooting of motorist after traffic stop

BY: - November 21, 2022

ALEXANDRIA – Body-worn and dashboard camera video was released Sunday from a Nov. 6 shooting in which a white Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy killed a Black man during a traffic stop.  Louisiana State Police are investigating the death of Derrick Kittling, 45, after Deputy Rodney Anderson pulled him over in Alexandria’s Lower Third neighborhood. […]

Louisiana spent $550,000 making Angola suitable for incarcerated youth

BY: - November 19, 2022

The Office of Juvenile Justice spent $550,000 to renovate the former death row facility at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola so they could use it to house incarcerated youth over the next year.  Interim Deputy Secretary Curtis Nelson told state senators Friday the money was spent on security cameras, new classrooms, a medical facility and […]

Swanson Center for Youth damage

Office of Juvenile Justice director resigns with Louisiana youth prisons in turmoil

BY: - November 18, 2022

The person in charge of Louisiana’s juvenile jails has resigned, according to a statement Friday afternoon from Gov. John Bel Edwards. Bill Sommers’ departure comes while the state’s youth prisons have reached capacity. Incarcerated youth have been moved to a building on the Angola penitentiary campus for adults after frequent violent incidents at Office of […]

A voter makes his choices in at a New Orleans Garden District polling place

The story behind why Louisiana voted against a ban on slavery

BY: - November 17, 2022

Last week, Louisiana voters struck down an amendment to its constitution that would have prohibited  slavery and involuntary servitude.  The four other states where slavery was on the ballot – Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont – approved similar referenda. Louisiana was put in the national spotlight for rejecting the change.  Trevor Noah did an entire […]

Bridge City Center for Youth

Lacking space, Louisiana officials ask judges to release incarcerated youth early

BY: - November 16, 2022

The Office of Juvenile Justice has asked judges to release people from its facilities as Louisiana runs out of space to put children and young adults in custody for committing crimes.  “It is a day-to-day task to try to release a child from OJJ’s custody so we can receive a child,” Assistant Secretary Curtis Nelson […]

Louisiana looks to cover tattoo removal for human trafficking survivors

BY: - November 15, 2022

Louisiana may soon cover the cost for people to remove tattoos forced upon them by sex traffickers. The Louisiana Crime Victims Reparations Board is considering a regulation that would make it easier to provide public money for human trafficking survivors. Bob Wertz, the board’s chief staff member, said the state can only award a victim […]

a fence topped with barbed wire

Migrant women endured medical mistreatment at ICE facility run by Louisiana company, report finds

BY: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate on an investigation panel on Tuesday grilled federal immigration officials about a bipartisan report that detailed how migrant women at an immigration detention center in Georgia underwent questionable gynecological procedures. The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations released an 18-month bipartisan report that found migrant women who were […]

The entrance gate at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans

FBI confirms a single juvenile suspect behind most bomb threats to dozens of HBCUs

BY: - November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — The FBI has officially announced that a single minor youth is the main suspect in most racially motivated bomb threats to dozens of Historically Black Colleges and Universities earlier this year that terrorized students. The FBI in a statement on Monday did not release any further details — only that the individual is […]