BENEFITING: LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CHILDRENS RIGHTS
ORGANIZER: LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CHILDRENS RIGHTS
LOUISIANA CENTER FOR CHILDRENS RIGHTS wrote -
In the highest-incarcerating city of the highest-incarcerating state in the nation, the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights fights for fairness, dignity, and opportunity for every child in the juvenile justice system.
Today in New Orleans there are still children as young as 15 imprisoned in what a federal judge characterized as the worst large prison in the United States – the same prison where, not 10 years ago, terrified youth watched the hurricane waters rise from behind bars.
This year in New Orleans, almost 98% of arrested children were African-American.
And, across Louisiana, hundreds of children are sitting in prison for no other reason than that the state won’t give them lawyers.
The Louisiana Center for Children's Rights (LCCR) is on the front lines of one of the most difficult civil rights fights of our generation. We need your help.
We are civil litigators who closed some of the most violent juvenile prisons in the country. We are policy advocates who rewrote the groundrules for how children need to be treated in one of the poorest and most unequal states.
We are defense attorneys, social workers, case managers, and education advocates who built the most innovative juvenile public defender in the country from the ground up in the aftermath of Katrina. We win legal and life success for our clients – driving down New Orleans’ juvenile prison population by 60% in the last four years, working child by child for a more just society.
We’re here for kids like Tristan, who would otherwise be forgotten.
Tristan was sentenced to serve four years in juvenile prison. When he got there, he was fifteen and had a seventh-grade education. He earned his GED in 13 months. In all his time in prison, he never received a single code of conduct violation. He completed every vocational training program offered by the facility. At night, towards the end of his stay, Tristan took to borrowing plumbing manuals from the maintenance staff to study. There was no more rehabilitation to offer him.
But he couldn’t go home, because he couldn’t get back into court to ask a judge for early release. For nineteen months after he got to prison, Tristan never saw a lawyer. He was lost.
Then, this year, Tristan was visited by lawyers with LCCR’s Second Chances Project. They fought for him. They showed the judge who Tristan was and what he had made of himself. And now he’s home, and he’s doing great.
The state of Louisiana will pay $424 a day to imprison a child, but it won’t pay for the lawyers who fight for second chances for imprisoned children. We're working to change that -- but we're not there yet. In the meanwhile, we rely on the support of people who believe, like us, in second chances and the promise of youth.
Join us as we strive to build a brighter future by protecting children's rights, standing up for their dignity, and empowering them to develop into strong, resilient adults.
Visit www.laccr.org to learn more about our work.