Louisiana Public Square | LPB
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Panelist Bio

Eugene Collins
HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART)

I started my work in the community at an early age. At sixteen years old, I volunteered to clear vacant lots on the weekends that added to crime. By the age of eighteen, I began serving the East Baton Rouge District 6 school improvement team.

Through this effort, I had the opportunity to work with various under privileged youth. Quickly I saw the need for improvement in neighborhood schools. In addition to my work with the District 6 school improvement team, I also served as the coach for the neighborhood’s basketball team and as a mentor to local youth.

My professional career began at The Baton Rouge AIDS Society. I made the most of the opportunity provided to me, and was later promoted to the position of Education and Prevention Coordinator. After a year of service, I was promoted to Director of Education and Prevention.

I would then transition to the position of STD/HIV Prevention Contract Monitor for the Louisiana Department of Health’s Region 2service area, within the public health sector, where I served faithfully for close to a decade. During my time in public health, I also chaired the Mayor’s Advisory Council on AIDS.

In recent years, I’ve begun to extend my reach into our community by becoming a member of The 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge. In less than a year’s time, I was promoted to chair our organization’s Health and Wellness Committee. During my time with The 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge, I’ve organized several efforts to reach youth in our community, as well as become a certified youth mentor.

In addition to my professional achievements, I’ve served as a volunteer football coach for the Baton Rouge Raptors for close to a decade. With the Raptors, I’ve worked to keep at-risk youth off the streets by giving them a positive outlet. I also serve as Assistant Pastor at Real Life Ministries, in addition to being a loving father.

In addition, I currently co-host Positive Voices on WTQT 106.1 FM and Heavenly 1550 AM, respectively. I also serve as the Director of Prevention at the HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART). I’m also a published author and have served as a Television Co-Host.

Current Topic

     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Special Presentation

     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!

     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Recent Topics

     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
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