The War on Drugs ravages New Orleans

Jarrett

If it's not a hurricane (and an abysmal federal response) decimating New Orleans' African-American community, it's a wannabe "tough on crime" district attorney. Facing South, the blog of the Institute for Southern Studies, reports that "New Orleans District Attorney Keva Landrum-Johnson is filling up Louisiana’s prisons with a new policy charging minor marijuana offenders with felonies if they have prior convictions." Predictably, according to New Orleans CityBusiness: The resulting impact has clogged the courts with non-violent, petty offenses, drained the resources of the criminal justice system and damaged low-income African-American communities, [Steve Singer, chief of trials for the Orleans Public Defenders Office] said. This is nothing new, reports Facing South: Targeting nonviolent drug offenders and tacking felony charges on people arrested for second and third marijuana possession offenses is not a new phenomenon in the racially-skewed U.S. drug war. The impact on communities of color in the South has been devastating. In New Orleans, low-income African-Americans make up the majority of those facing charges each month, many of whom typically can’t afford bail and must sit in Orleans Parish Prison for extended periods of time unable to support their families. Read the whole Facing South entry here. Also, if you haven't visited before, the whole blog is worth a weekly look-see. You can read about how "coastal wetlands provide $23.2 billion worth of protection from hurricane-related flooding in the United States each year" on their site here.

Help In These Times Celebrate & Have Your Gift Matched!

In These Times is proud to share that we were recently awarded the 16th Annual Izzy Award from the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. The Izzy Award goes to an independent outlet, journalist or producer for contributions to culture, politics or journalism created outside traditional corporate structures.

Fellow 2024 Izzy awardees include Trina Reynolds-Tyler and Sarah Conway for their joint investigative series “Missing In Chicago," and journalists Mohammed El-Kurd and Lynzy Billing. The Izzy judges also gave special recognition to Democracy Now! for coverage that documented the destruction wreaked in Gaza and raised Palestinian voices to public awareness.

In These Times is proud to stand alongside our fellow awardees in accepting the 2024 Izzy Award. To help us continue producing award-winning journalism a generous donor has pledged to match any donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $20,000.

Will you help In These Times celebrate and have your gift matched today? Make a tax-deductible contribution to support independent media.

Democratic Rep. Summer Lee, who at the time was a candidate for the state House, at a demonstration in Pittsburgh for Antwon Rose, who was killed by police, in 2018. Lee recently defeated her 2024 primary challenger.
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Subscribe to the print magazine.