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Criminal Justice Reform (2016)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: News, Public Affairs

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2016-03-18

Duration: 00:06:44

Subjects: Juvenile justice, Administration of | Louisiana. Legislature | Louisiana Legislative Session, 2016 | Politics | Government | Criminal justice, Administration of | Public defenders


  • Whinham, Charlie Host
  • Spires, Kelly Producer
  • Woods, Virnado Photographer
  • Touchet-Morgan, Beth Speaker
  • Mack, Sherman Interviewee
  • Johnson, Bernette Speaker
  • Dixon, James Speaker
  • Esman, Marjorie Speaker
  • LeBlanc, James Interviewee


This segment from the March 18, 2016, episode of the series “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features Kelly Spires’ report on the criminal justice reform bills under consideration at the 2016 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature in the areas of juvenile justice reform and the funding of public defender’s offices. Spires reports that the state must change its sentencing laws for juveniles due to the United States Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, which states that sentencing juveniles to life without parole is cruel and unusual punishment. This report includes: Beth Touchet-Morgan of the Office of Juvenile Justice testifying before the House Criminal Justice Committee; an interview with State Representative Sherman Mack, the chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee; Chief Justice Bernette Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court discussing the restriction of services at most public defender’s offices around the state; James Dixon, the state public defender, testifying about the funding crisis facing his office; testimony by Marjorie Esman, the executive director of the ACLU; and an interview with Secretary James LeBlanc of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections on the need for sentencing reform to focus on the local jails. Host: Charlie Whinham