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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Elain Ellerbe
State Director, Right on Crime

Elain Ellerbe joined Right on Crime in September, 2016 as the State Director for Louisiana and as a Policy Analyst. Her expertise includes over thirty years of business and non-profit management, having co-founded with her family the non-profit, Refined By Fire Ministries. For the past 20 years, Elain has focused her work in the area of prison reentry programming. Elain’s expertise in reentry program development and implementation as well as providing programs that address the special issues facing families impacted by the criminal justice system have been recognized nationally and in Louisiana. In 2013, Elain was named to the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame, along with her husband Michael, posthumously, for their life long work in the area of reentry and was also selected as an Esprit de Femme Honoree by the LSU Women’s Center. In 2014 Elain was selected by the Louisiana Women’s Legislative Caucus as their Heroine of the Year, for her commitment to assist the incarcerated and their families.

Elain holds a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice from Liberty University and is presently working on her Masters in Children and Family Advocacy / Public Policy. She is certified in a number of reentry evidence-based and cognitive behavioral therapy programs to include Nurturing Parenting, Inside/Out Dad, Bridges Out of Poverty, Victim Awareness and Moral Recognation Therapy.

Elain’s work presently with Right on Crime in Louisiana has been focused on monitoring the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force as the group works to identify the drivers to the prison population and provide recommendations for criminal justice reform legislation to be enacted during the 2017 Louisiana Legislature. Right on Crime also works on reform efforts to include Civil Asset Forfeiture, Mens Rea and Pre-Trial/Bail Bond issues.

Current Topic


     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?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, 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.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

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

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

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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