While possibly electronic
monitoring of transitional work program participants could reduce
backsliding and even tragedy, its form envisioned in a pending Louisiana
Legislature bill likely would have little or no payoff.
State Rep. Stephen Dwight
has authored HB
50 for the upcoming session, which would require electronic monitoring of
offenders taking advantage of the opportunity to work outside institutions from
six months to four years away from sentence completion. The legislation aims to
prevent such inmates from walking off the job and causing the use of resources
to track them down or, worse, having them commit subsequent crimes.
Although nationally still relatively small in implementation
– only an estimated two
percent of all convicts participate in some kind of electronic monitoring –
use of the technology has grown rapidly over the past decade. Attention to it
has increased as jurisdictions look to reduce corrections cost, an exercise
Louisiana has undertaken with a task force report on the subject due today.
Maybe Louisiana’s Board
of Regents should act more like one of the panels over which it has
authority to show that the state’s higher education establishment has gotten the
Just days after the Regents released a mandated report
its legislative intent as little more than a joke, one of its subordinate management
boards did something showing at least some seriousness on that account. The
Louisiana Community and Technical College System announced
plans that it would consolidate campuses by Jul. 1, realigning eight that
would save about $10 million annually.
Monty Sullivan, the system president responsible to
the board, recommended the move in facing the reality of higher education funding
in the state. Over the past decade spending on community colleges actually has
risen slightly, from around $311
million to $325
million, although these now
serve about 13 percent more
students in terms of credit hours. However, the mix of state funding and
self-generated revenues has reversed so now most funding comes from tuition and
Instead of state legislator, Republican candidate
for House District 8 Robbie Gatti has
a more realistic chance of becoming a textbook author – writing about how to sabotage
your own political campaign.
Little has gone right for the brother of state
Sen. Ryan Gatti since qualifying
closed for the special election for the seat vacated when Rep. Mike Johnson left for Congress.
The first of it he should have seen coming.
Some years ago, Gatti came dressed up at a Halloween
party as mixed-race golfer Tiger Woods, who had become tabloid fodder over
largely self-induced marriage problems, with Nike-logo cap and in blackface.
Worse for him, at least one photo memorializes the event that also attended by members
of his church. Later, only months ago the Gattis worked against Johnson’s
election in opposition to most of the church’s members, stirring up such
emotions that Robbie Gatti, who held a ministerial position in it, was asked to
The race is on between whether a federal court will
toss out a Louisiana law limiting exotic dancing for those under 21 years or
age or the state can fix apparent defects in the law prior to that.
Last week, Eastern Louisiana District Court Judge Carl Barbier extended
injunctive relief to plaintiffs against Act 395 of
2016. The law prohibits people aged 18-20 years from working as strippers
in places that serve alcohol. This continues an order granted last year against
the measure that seeks to reduce the incidence of human trafficking, arguing
that younger adults face heightened risk at being sucked in to prostitution
through nude dancing.
Such municipal ordinances – New Orleans has one
with more specific language – and state laws historically have had a tough row
to hoe because of concerns over the chilling effect that such a prohibition has
on First Amendment rights. For decades, constitutional law has recognized nude
expression as a protected form of speech, creating demanding standards to
regulate it in any way.