Criminal Justice


Louisiana law that eliminates prison time for modest marijuana possession takes effect Sunday

BY: - July 31, 2021

A new law that eliminates jail and prison time for the possession of modest amounts of marijuana will take effect Sunday.  The law will impose a fine of up to $100 on a person caught with 14 grams or fewer of marijuana in lieu of incarceration — even for repeat offenses.  The current penalties for […]

Judge grants restraining order against Louisiana med school vaccine mandate

Low vaccination rates among incarcerated youth, staff at juvenile facilities, leads to concern

BY: - July 30, 2021

Though everybody over age 12 is eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, only 27% of Louisiana’s incarcerated youth have been inoculated against the deadly virus, an official with the Office of Juvenile Justice said Thursday, and only 36% of the staff at the state’s juvenile facilities have been. “They have received all the information and we really […]

Louisiana inmate taking out the trash

Louisiana shifts prison work crew schedules in government office buildings over Delta surge

BY: - July 27, 2021

The schedules for prison work crews who clean Louisiana state government office buildings in downtown Baton Rouge has been altered because of the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19. There is also a possible COVID-19 outbreak at the prison where the crews usually live. Incarcerated people who typically clean Baton Rouge state offices are […]

Republicans block 'Jim Crow jury' reform

Louisiana prison system is prohibiting outside visitors and family again because of COVID-19

BY: - July 27, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections is barring family members, attorneys, volunteers and other visitors from entering state prisons through at least Aug. 16 as the state undergoes its fourth surge of COVID-19 cases.  The prison system has previously been shut down to outsiders. Family visits were completely prohibited for a year — […]


Louisiana’s prison system allowing in-person visits with attorneys again

BY: - July 16, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has started to allow attorneys back into state prisons for in-person visits with incarcerated clients. “Our institutions are encouraging Zoom meetings for visits. If necessary, they will allow non-contact visits for attorneys,” wrote Ken Pastorick, spokesman for the prison system, in an email earlier this month. Attorneys […]


Chuck Schumer: Congress should legalize weed on the federal level

BY: - July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the federal […]


Republicans and Democrats accuse each other of ‘defunding the police’ | Tammy C. Barney

BY: - July 14, 2021

“Defund the police”– a rallying cry during the 2020 protests following the unwarranted deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others at the hands of police – is now a congressional football that  Democrats and Republicans keep throwing up as Hail Mary passes without anyone scoring a touchdown.   First, Republicans accused Democrats of embracing “defund […]

Louisiana prison system’s COVID-19 reimbursements are questionable, audit says

BY: - July 13, 2021

Auto repairs. Horse feed. Chair reupholstery.  Those are some of the services the Department of Public Safety and Corrections had reimbursed through the Coronavirus Relief Fund set up to deal with the public health crisis. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor questioned whether the state should have used federal pandemic relief funding to pay for them in […]

Lawmakers override veto of concealed carry bill

Police coalition urges Louisiana lawmakers to accept veto of concealed gun bill

BY: - July 8, 2021

A coalition of law enforcement officers from across Louisiana, including parish sheriffs and chiefs of police, gathered for a news conference Thursday in Baton Rouge where they urged state legislators to accept Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto of a bill that would allow people to carry a concealed gun without a permit or training.  The […]

New police reforms coming to Louisiana

BY: - July 7, 2021

Law enforcement agencies in Louisiana will soon implement several police reforms Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law after the 2021 regular session. However, during that same session, the Louisiana Legislature killed the most significant piece of legislation proposed by the Legislature’s police reform task force: a bill that would have limited qualified immunity. That […]

Black Caucus asks feds to launch full-scale investigation of Louisiana State Police

BY: - July 6, 2021

Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus leaders announced Tuesday that they will be sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice to request a “top-to-bottom” investigation of Louisiana State Police following a series of high-profile beatings of Black motorists and alleged coverups within the state’s top law enforcement agency, Rep. Ted James, the Baton Rouge Democrat […]

Republicans block 'Jim Crow jury' reform

How Louisiana prisons have handled COVID-19: 9 Things to Know

BY: - June 29, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has no information on whether nearly half the state’s prison population was screened for COVID-19 or has been offered a COVID-19 vaccine yet, according to a report from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor released Monday.  Louisiana houses 46 percent of the people it imprisons — 13,051 people — […]