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Special session’s biggest crime policy proposals; Historic preservationists adopt AI tools

The entrance to Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola Prison.
Flickr Creative Commons
The entrance to Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola Prison.

Louisiana lawmakers passed sweeping criminal justice reforms in 2017 aimed at reducing the state’s prison population. Now, lawmakers in Baton Rouge are considering bills that would undo those reforms. Proponents of the so-called tough-on-crime policies point to spikes in Louisiana’s crime rates since those reform laws went into effect.

But critics say the COVID-19 pandemic is to blame instead. While others say inadequate investment in the reforms prevented them from being successful.

To talk through the reforms and proposals to repeal them, we’re joined by Barry Erwin, president and CEO of Council for A Better Louisiana, a non-partisan, non-profit group.

We also hear from Greg LaRose, an editor with the Louisiana Illuminator. LaRose has written about many of the proposals, including a provision that proposes treating 17-year-olds as adults in Louisiana’s criminal justice system. It would walk-back reforms made in 2017, mostly referred to as “Raise The Age.”

Later on the show, we hear how historic preservationists in Louisiana have adopted AI tools to help them do their work. Louisiana-based AI expert Margeaux Randolph, co-founder of Create Ventures, joins us.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Adam Vos. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber. Matt Bloom produced today’s show, with help from assistant producer Aubry Procell. Our engineer is Garrett Pittman.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:00 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Adam is responsible for coordinating WRKF's programming and making sure everything you hear on the radio runs smoothly. He is Newscast Editor for the WRKF/WWNO Newsroom. Adam is also the Baton Rouge-based host for Louisiana Considered, our daily regional news program, and is frequently the local voice afternoons on All Things Considered.