Cheundra Bailey and Ernest Canty embrace in their favorite spot to unwind - the neutral ground on Caliborne Ave. The two have criminal records, but are determined to find legal work.
Jess Clark / WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

There are a lot of Louisianians with criminal records. The state has the second-highest incarceration rate in the country, behind Oklahoma. In New Orleans, 1 in 7 African American men have been incarcerated at some point in their lives. Louisianians with felonies also face the most restrictions in the nation when it comes to getting jobs.

Bruce Reilly

Bring Your Own is a nomadic storytelling series that takes place in unconventional spaces within the community. Each month, eight storytellers have eight minutes to respond to a theme. BYO airs on All Things New Orleans and is a biweekly podcast on

This story was told on March 3rd, 2016 at the Michalopoulos Studio, and later produced by Laine Kaplan-Levenson. The theme of the evening was 'Born on Parole' and Bruce Reilly talks the trials and tribulations of dating, while on Parole.