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WWL>Topics>>3-27-14 2:10pm Angela: on reducing crime, part 2

3-27-14 2:10pm Angela: on reducing crime, part 2

Mar 27, 2014|

Angela talks about crime reduction with Craig DeRoche of Justice Fellowship, local developer Pres Kabacoff, Kevin Kane of the Pelican Institute, and pastors Antoine Barriere and David Crosby.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

We begin our second hour talking about some much needed changes. In a criminal justice system but it's really an educational process that's how we think about. The situation we have -- -- make it better and we are joined once again by a credit to Rocha was president of the justice fellowship. Press -- local developer. -- passer -- very eight pastor of the a household of faith family worship. Kevin Kane president of the pelican institute for public public policy. Pastor David Crosby with these first Baptist church and Oliver Thomas who is host -- good morning show. Is a local actor and they writer of a beautiful play. Reflections. Before I go to both the pastors because I want we need to address this. And clearly say how this is impacted the huge percentage of our world. But before we do that I'm going to go to -- -- brand because he's been holding forever and I'm so appreciative Brad thank you for holding. It's thank you handler and I agree not a great program much needed. You know why is good to hear that you have an emphasis on the legislature but there as a PO in the legislature house bill seven. By -- Marino. Step proposes to establish a maximum penalty of 5000 dollars. For the violations. Of local ordinances in the city of new world. And the reason I even was aware of it is. Is come out before its plan to come up before the City Council today supported by outgoing council members Clarkson and Palmer. As well as president head. That is backing the legislation. And stability pimps traffic violation. Imagine getting arrested for violating. Noise Jordan and being flat -- 5000 dollar fine. You know this punitive sort of thing keeps continuing and sell off -- The zero tolerance means those with zero would not be tolerated. A week bought against. Of you know people getting arrested for public intoxication. For sleeping in public. And you know that the French Quarter the battleground for often because of the competing needs. I wanna hear what people have the day and particularly the legislation would like I'm really dangerous. Again it what is the legislation is going to eliminate. It's it's actually all its -- it is it was pre filed. And -- there is nothing more than that step which is a maximum penalty of 5000 dollars for the violation ordinances in the city in the war on. I mean a lot of ordinances have much lower buying and you know you know I'm not saying that we should get rid of -- but if you put up 5000 dollar fine. On the -- line saying. He could be anything you could media violating noise ordinance obstructing a sidewalk. Playing music after 8 PM. I mean it. -- This is the like in open. Season on certain groups of people and I maintain that. You know there interest that we want to make for example Jackson square of their own private courtyard and salt and criminality is Prada. As the reasons to make these interest have preference. Let me jump in here -- Marino is actually been. A supporter of Smart on crime. And so would I hope she's not falling into the trap -- making. Every probably have put it on the criminal list equivalent -- we have something like thirteen hundred. Crimes in the state of of -- you know and I was certainly talked to. The council people and then Marino try to find out if there isn't side story of back story and explanations of this I don't know. But it just we need to be cautious about every time we have a problem it's gets toppled another. And other crimes okay thank you bread so much for the call I wanna talk to our two pastors and on varying and David Crosby. About what you see and what you have seen in the past. That not isn't just our panel justice system needs. It's were losing a community. For you losing a large portion of people. Well one of the things again Angela is that even as they're ecologists. Dole's laws like targeted to people -- -- You know we you know are gonna arrest somebody for noise audience. That doesn't look like me. And and you know -- arrest somebody. At Tulane. For marijuana. But over an -- community. You going to be arrested several -- and and now we have. Feel that it's almost remove that. From being a felon. To a misdemeanor. Because now and we talked about this split. That that felony. Can be multi be old and now because a position. You can. Go away for a long long time. But it's concentrated. In our community I asked a question in our congregation. -- about a twelve argued. People how many. You have you'll. Follow the mother brother assistant. Immediate family. As in the rest 95%. And well enough. Rabbi Linden who -- congregation is in -- he told me he you know anybody who knew anybody had an arrest. And other data like he was from another plane because. It's concentrating out there in it's it's it's taking away our power. Because when she had that could be key in voting anymore you don't have access to public college you can't get any money for schooling. So it it's a cycle. That just scares our community in one in the actual. That that we understand. It is the new Jim -- it is the new. Way of holding someone down. In not giving him opportunity. And you can do it legally because all you do get smoke. But -- laws and not forced. The same way at best Crosby's church first Baptist as Leo but -- thing. Which is why I'm here I'm Angela I'm past -- Mariane are together on this issue and many others. This is my community I work hard in the lower ninth in the upper ninth with lots of different things we're doing. And we don't want to see these communities crushed by the un on uneven. Enforcement of laws some of which. Like for instance of very tough drug laws are used by the criminal justice system to put away people they suspect of doing worse things. But they can only get -- this law so we can make this -- five years automatic mandatory sentence. We can lock him up for a long time even though we can't really prove what we think they're guilty of and to -- there's there's an injustice about using. These laws. In that way we're assuming somebody's guilty of something else and their forward getting them on this. Other matter and raising the sentence so that's really tough on them. I see it as a matter of justice I want our community to be just as long as the young men in the Lower Ninth Ward don't see it is justice they're not getting a fair shake from the criminal justice system in the police in the system itself. Then it's still going to be a violent. And a place that has no peace and they're not gonna have any hope like pastor Barea said. And to me that's an issue for our churches I mean I'm a white evangelical and I believe that our churches all across Louisiana Baptist and every other name ought to be saying to legislature or. Legislate -- let's work. On reducing. The rate of incarceration. In Louisiana. We can do it without threatening public safety we can help the budget of our state and we can help the families of our state be healthier. And our communities be healthy that's where -- -- Perfectly sand and Islam let let me make what it did the point here that secure and very important press. Whether you believe that this it's a consequence of views about race and class or not you just look at the the results. In our city we have many. African American neighborhoods. We use that phrase for our group called Smart on crime we don't use the phrase mass incarceration. What is mass incarceration. Wrote -- down it's a level of imprisonment. So vast it forges the collective -- experience of an entire social group or neighborhood in -- that's what's happening. In our city and it's no good for us economically. Socially. Culturally. It is a real. Problem much be judges the individuals sentencing -- received 60%. Of of African American American males. Who dropped out of school. Have found themselves and -- Stay with us every one of our conversation continues. And please give us a call 2601 in seven. Welcome back we're talking our second hour about the much needed changes to our criminal justice system. I wanna pull back on Craig to Roche you've been listening to on the people in this room and just some of your thoughts and comparing to what you witnessed. In other states trying to make change. Album thank you for that he -- this is really awkward finger on the heart of the discussions are -- you -- down. I would like to talk to a couple of the human side of of of these things. By first going back to where he talked about possession of heroin being two year. People -- talking about. That because of the danger that. And it's amazing recovery from addiction would say that 22. Drug addicts. They would tell you actually gotten -- are interchangeable. Bodies at the -- -- See it's -- whiskey vodka are different but your body doubles alcohol. Indo you can probably into a police officer to go over for speeding up a bottle prescribes actually chat and hold it like efficient drivers relations in paktia. -- -- it and -- here and you would get a two year mandatory minimum because of the danger of Iran. Insult. Is -- discussion bring truth in the -- conversations. What what are we talking about. That production what what what is the danger of these drugs and a what can be done as far as -- divergent from prison. That we don't -- states have gone a week from prison sentences for possession. Is people that drug addiction issues. When they're put into prison. The the sobriety clean rate of using drugs is is normally. Extraordinarily small in some areas under 3%. We put an accountability program to live in the real world of giving it to our daily. At the beginning in the earn their way out to testing every two or three days. Over a period of one or two years. The so brightly it was a guy it's been demonstrated or 80%. In certain jurisdictions -- 60% couldn't sober which is. The point of using the criminal justice that Chinese. Pay -- society get a better result without them going to prison so you have to decide the fewer people using drugs if that's what you want he's four. Fewer people on the roads drinking and driving and in using that drugs. -- behind that we are doing these things what is more effective. It is and that they're trying to be soft on crime works even shall there are these people there just simply saying. Incumbent governors and legislators. Well this gives them lots of which which let it. So so I guess will go that's what happens to save money by the financial. It happens to be consistent with the Christian principle. Proportionately for -- you can you know you and I differently in -- foot and arm. By -- either you're breaking the law. We don't want you to do what you expect for what you did you read what you do more -- -- most effectively person yet that's proportionate to people -- Really what really what we're saying is what is the goal. The deal. And that brings us two things that we do you have before the legislature. Maybe you would like to talk about some of the ones that could achieve that Google. Sure sure of course we recognized. That. The situation wherein. He's taken many years and sort of guess here is certainly not going to be solved in one legislative session or anything like that but. But we think that that this year and we've got an opportunity. To a at least sort of start moving in the right direction and so what we do what we're proposing is a number of bills. Kind of falling into the general categories of smaller sentencing for nonviolent criminal nonviolent offenders. Sensible guidelines for parole eligibility but there's a lot of laws. Don't even give people an opportunity to be considered for pearl and we're not saying everybody should be granted parole -- we have more people especially nonviolent offenders should be considered for the world. And then expanding those alternatives to incarceration which really do need to be developed here in Louisiana some of the other states have done a better job of building up those alternatives. And finally opening doors to the workforce but as we talk about this issue of recidivism. I mean it's a real challenge for somebody who gets out of jail for the job. And. Well that that is meant a huge thing and the right and I bring him Burl Cain because there is a small group that -- of -- that you'll get out and he is doing some training programs. But it's not gonna work if people won't hire them and they can come out. Master mechanics. And that could make a great living but they're not going to be hard to these people are afraid so some of these -- saying are going to help compensate. Yeah well there a couple of things that mean for one thing of the many businesses shy away from the prospect of hiring somebody with a record. Because they're afraid if that person ever does something wrong even it has nothing to do with what there prior crime was but they're gonna get sued. And -- so we're supporting a bill that basically says. You can't sue somebody. Just because they hired an ex offender. Mean granted if you if you hire somebody with a with a record of DW lies to drive your company fan not a great idea. And you can get sued for doing out of -- and -- -- But. But but if somebody with a DWY. Ten years ago. You know steal something something related to the prior crimes shouldn't be -- just as you are an ex offender. So this would -- business owners some comfort in considering. Some ex offenders they may not be considering now and the other thing he is. He's so you know people who. -- sometimes board from giving you license. So for example of the kind of typical anecdote -- hear somebody will learn how to cut hair when they're in prison. And get out McKinney and get a Barber's license. Which which is you know crazy so we're just putting continuous road blocks rise and so this would probably would make it possible for people who get out to get provisional licenses. And it over a period of time. If they follow it all the -- they do everything right and they can get there permanent license to engage in their profession in Louisiana you know actually. I think we have more. Kind of licensing requirements than any other city for many jobs it really that not to demean these jobs but I mean we're not talking about heart surgery or. You know licenses to arrange flowers and things like that it and so a lot of people who. Coming out of prison don't have advanced degrees. These are the kinds of jobs that we want them to be able to compete. You know it's it's I'm just as I'm listening to everybody it is about. Do we basically believe someone should have a second chance. And I'm not talking about the violence and -- a person is murdered I'm not that I'm talking about the majority people would walk out of prison. Do we believe as a society that they should have a second chance and if so why are we why do we have these barriers. We're gonna take another break and we don't wanna say things we have to go back to the newsroom and Chris Miller. Welcome back we're talking about just some changes needed in our criminal justice system with a with a great group of people and and we were talking about some specific bills that are not now before our legislate. An end. -- -- You know I I really embraces truth and everybody deserves a second chance I believe in personal transformation. And in. Folks turn their allies around but you know that any listener in Louisiana. -- by -- to being Smart on crime and we all need to mean there is plenty of common ground for everybody com. To the table for instance we've got an aging prison population. It's a proven fact that if you are over fifty you are far less likely to come back in the prison -- fewer. 25 we've got fifty year old sixty year old seven year old. Incarcerated here in Louisiana that are no threat to the public safety if they were again out some of them are sick. And and need special medical care and it just a flat dollars a that are is long as they stay in the state system the state itself must pay for their medical care. So an older prisoner can cost us three times. More per annum. Then a younger prisoner. And we had yet to see Angela what that's going to mean. As the population. Ages in our system this huge population of people and incarcerated Louisiana. Age and get older and sicker and more in need of care. Once they get out. Federal dollars can pay for there. Health care. But that in that alone is a place that all Louisiana units could come together call -- legislate or and say. If this is in a -- and it is it's in our house bill 745. Right now we got bills both about medical parole and and -- and about that aging population and the opportunity get. Out of prison that. For legitimate reasons without threatening public safety medical parole is HB twenty 210. And not parole for for eligibility for older nonviolent. Inmates is HB 329. Every citizen Louisiana ought to be saying to their lately towards. Let's get this through this makes good sense it makes good public use of our resources. And now. We need to we need to get these bills passed this session. In the old testament book of Isaiah. It's up to 431 nineteen -- says I would do a new thing. And you. What we know the definition of insanity here to continue doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Well if that is that that old thing that we've done in terms incarceration. In terms escalating costs without. Making things safer as a working. That I would say just read the book of Isaiah chapter four through first nineteen it's time for a new thing. And -- focus on a couple of bills and I think a very important. One Louisiana it is about the last jurisdiction. State in the country that that makes no wanna a film. And there's bill now. JP morale local legislature and an athlete news very prominent legislator from the from the northern I think -- Freeport. Area. That that. Reduces. That marijuana offense to a misdemeanor. I think that's very important if some other bills that that don't go that far which would not be as meaningful. Secondly. There's -- bill. Giving judges discretion. I'm told by Kevin Kane and others at that will have a very difficult time passing in in Louisiana. We have more mandatory. Sentences in Louisiana and that's what -- the horror stories that you hear about it. A few possessions of marijuana and next thing you know you're in jail for 20/20 five years. That needs to change and and give it judges from discretion to opt to obstacles that is. One just practically power district attorneys don't wanna relegate power. To a judge. They lose some there there there there cloud and then there's some arguments that judges have not handled sentencing properly can't be trusted. Again I think that's words the -- secure having we need to educate the public. To to elect judges that handles sentencing appropriate so it just not. We don't need to keep the status quo we need the change the entire system. Finally. I know in our own company it's been talked about earlier how difficult it is to get a job after you get out or or -- housing. In our -- company a trial -- what we call and the box. Which means it's someone applying for the job there's no longer. A -- Automatic. Elimination for for a conviction. Of a crime. Which is so discouraging latest no not even to apply either to live in one of our projects or work in our company and so we ban the box and only. Once there excepted do we then determine whether the criminal past has been changed as you pointed out. Give them a second chance that they deserve it and so this is that systematic thing that flows through the employer. Housing the courts we need change the system. United and -- follow up on that pricing there's a bill that we're supporting. Which creates a veterans' court program. Over Hillary news wolf about bill. And actually governor Jindal has come out and in support that bill and what does it authorized courts to create. A specialized veteran veterans' treatment court. Programs. On the idea being that veterans who maybe having drug or substance abuse issues and who have you gotten into the criminal justice system. But -- don't necessarily need to be sent to prison as we've been discussing. And so this this this program would allow. The courts to tap into a variety of federal programs that are available for veterans. And to look for those alternatives -- so you're one of the reasons we wanna do. Include this sport is that you know we think that that sort of approach that way of thinking. Should be brought -- to people other than veterans and it today and so much sense yeah and but but you know one of the reasons this is really a long term project is that. You really need to get the confidence. The prosecutors and judges. They need to know that these alternatives are out there. And in fairness to them because -- you know I've never never sort of accused the DA's judges of creating this problem out of malice. They have top jockey job tough jobs. And face a lot of typical lemons. The Louisiana hasn't offered. And half of those alternatives to incarceration so we've seen now -- states like Texas and Georgia to have develop those alternatives. There -- seen success if we start to do that here that I think over time prosecutors and judges become more comfortable with those alternatives to make more use of them. We're gonna have to take another break we'll be right back. Well we're back talking about some of the legislative changes are being proposed that would. Change. And better our criminal justice system Robert you've been wonderful to hold on so long. You and kids to the passionately and in their lord knows there. That's that. Didn't -- and he does so -- -- and mr. forties Barbara oh. -- more opportunities to talk about this subject. -- I'm forty year old black -- -- did prison term for Merrill are sure two to order. Follow our came home and 08. And -- That -- a few -- forward to 2000. Merrill. -- -- Favre is now or in the north toward -- follow. I felt that that was the real effective. Full support for that storage and I came home. Put all of nicer sure who aren't. Think. When -- applications. Every year. Follow our couldn't get the job because of that you know that box where -- fair you know you -- your Steward you rhetoric of victory and and so you know are in your arms. I would check it. Well it. I was basically you know. Didn't didn't danger. For your signature anywhere and so on the thought occurred. They're accurate Kurt -- -- congratulate. Four years. And what one on the -- -- -- BR try to go back several more out. Sort of proper record. -- couldn't get a quick course record. You know. I want paper. And so. Maybe become a fall back into the street Lil bit and now currently are facing -- number one George. Are where I'm actually safe in you rolled true -- life. 40. My bird or one and so. But I just feel like. -- now by the person I've never -- gratified when it first star. -- I'd -- like -- laws there in California where. They don't actually if you look at this shoving them. And I understand -- -- You understand that -- wanna know. If they the killer. Somebody your heroes that for the sexual predator argued that for. We're just somebody like there's missiles. We have no problem marijuana or somebody. You know. -- that markets wrote I don't -- -- like. Big -- -- -- we have been on the phone and acute and maybe we'll have a better players but the system so. So -- open and -- -- living witness in two. Bobo now you know most of the system rear view there. Robert I really really appreciate your call I think you really food express too many things and it's and that's an example he may go for life. On marijuana god bless him. And we had a -- House revealed to seventeen. And a house bill 485. Which is to ban that box so he would have a chance. That's what we're saying you know once you get in there. It is sold sole hard to get out I was at one of sentencing. Reform meetings and Baton Rouge. And that study stated that just to be convicted. Of a felony. Was worst -- actually have the due to time. Because just once you get that stamp its so devastating. If you never did the time it you'd be punished enough. We're well again Robert thank you very much and it really for telling your story and I think we'll all be thinking about in the days ahead. Now it's that kind of says at all. He's not a murderer he's not a -- that he's done marijuana. World as a country looking at marijuana laws and this is not to say legalized -- to say let's put it in perspective. But. Again. Cut grass tried. You know as employers people have to start looking at and let me tell you we've done a number of shows on this program. We're gonna have a labor shortage. Watts yeah that's I was mentioned at that. There about 42000 job openings expected to come open in the coming years just southeast Louisiana. And a lot of -- most of these jobs. Alone will only require ice to school diploma and then maybe some training afterwards so so. What what I would hope is that we'll see immediate cultural shift. And I mean employers are gonna need to hire people and and hopefully some doors will open -- in the past and. I think it's we need to. Look at the dollars and cents here with roberts' case I mean here we have a man. Who's a nonviolent offender and we could potentially -- -- as a state for the next twenty years. By every meal. Every piece of close any winners put a roof over -- -- not even cable TV. We're gonna provide everything that Robert needs from now on it taxpayer expense. So it's a taxpayer expense and is famines in -- do with that for the next twenty years while he's locked up on this chart that doesn't make sense to me just as a citizen. Famous item on the pastor and I have compassion for man -- in this -- But as a citizen. Please let's think about this this is not where we want to go to -- we want to do with Robert north the resources of our state. Well to have Kevin -- -- to -- pass to Crosby. On the Swartz knew my project a press chemical. Gives hope the glass is -- is. Half full. I would say this and something that number in from the Christian position. Because I believe in my face -- the best we can do -- -- a person. Partially for a minimum offense how can we ever be a better society. We'll take a break on that we'll be right back. I'm so grateful to everyone who has been in this room and on the telephone talking about. Very important subject we need change and I'd like to ask these wonderful man. What can people do at home. To help help. Would just on the regarding these specific -- we've discussed. Go to our website pelican institute dot ORG -- can get information from bills. Will keep people posted you can sign up for our emails and of course during the session I'd love to come back some time and update you on the status of these bills. Also people just need to call that legislators let him -- when they stand that is it. We've got all that information given right down on web sites and other places where folks can email. Their legislate tours as well and called them. A personal message from use a citizen Louisiana TO legislate or during this time it's just really impact full to that person. And if you have a conviction that we need spend our money more wisely. In this regard with with -- incarceration rate like India's. I'd say get a hold that legislator let him know what you think it. Yes I say the same thing especially if we've already been impacted by this. You know those who have family members they really have the motivation but sometimes we just we don't know which way to go there right now I think there's a whole movement a hole. A whole communities realize -- -- wrong so I would encourage every pastor every church. You know every person to just get involved in begin to move forward in this legislation. I think you all again we will keep up to date on this stay with this we have not an hour on this but another interesting hour ahead. Technology an intimacy it doesn't get better.