You are here:  / Blog


Banning the Box: the Human Resource Element of Criminal Justice Reform
November 20, 2015

By: Bill­ Schulz

One of the most talked-about issues this election season is criminal justice reform.  While the specifics vary from candidate to candidate, there is rising, bipartisan support for widespread changes to the way the criminal justice system works in America.  Among the changes being considered is the idea that reintegrating those convicted of crimes into the community’s economic environment will help rehabilitate them while also reducing the rate of recidivism.  The United States Department of Justice has recently published the results of a five-year study of recidivism rates amongst those released from prison in 2005 across thirty different states.  The DOJ concluded that by 2010 nearly 80% had been rearrested and nearly 60% had been convicted of new offenses.[1]  This is catastrophic and suggests that once convicted, many inmates face a depressingly predictable future of rearrest and subsequent return to prison with little time spent gainfully contributing to society.  A possible solution to this problem, as noted above, is the assisted reintegration of released offenders into society.   A key element to this reintegration is gainful employment. This factor is understood to be critical to avoiding future criminal behavior.  This assumption though, while backed by socioeconomic research, is not without controversy, as three separate studies have demonstrated.  (more…)

Weaving a Tapestry: The Diversity Report
October 23, 2015

By: Bill Schulz

One of the most important, perhaps the most important challenge that faced the Paul M. Hebert Law Center’s Diversity Task Force (and its successor the Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion) was defining what diversity is. While a one-sentence definition of diversity is a tricky proposition, a fair understanding of the term as the Task Force understood it might be inclusiveness. Perhaps given Louisiana’s troubled history of race relations, the word “diversity” has become a binary concept, expressing purely a white/black notion of society. In Twenty-First century America, however, diversity is no longer shackled to merely black and white, nor is the concept of race itself any longer moored in the problematic domain of black/white, as it now includes ideas of ethnicity, nationality, and bi-raciality(1). (more…)