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Panelist Bio

Alanah Hebert
ACLU of Louisiana

Alanah Odoms Hebert, a leading civil rights attorney, is the first African American woman to be named executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. She is committed to the priorities of reducing mass incarceration and furthering racial justice in Louisiana, as well as expanding the ACLU’s collaboration with marginalized communities. Current initiatives under her leadership include: the campaign to end non-unanimous jury verdicts, a destructive legacy of Louisiana’s Jim Crow history, and a comprehensive statewide assessment of Louisiana’s prolific pretrial detainee population.

Odoms Hebert previously served as the director of the division of children and families and deputy general counsel of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Odoms Hebert also worked as special counsel to Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice, Bernette J. Johnson. Her work has included advocacy to support the establishment of a truancy center in Orleans Parish, the campaign to end indiscriminate shackling of juveniles in court, and the revision of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Articles on post conviction relief. Alanah also co-chaired the statewide effort to reduce incarceration of children through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI).

In 2016, Odoms Hebert was appointed to serve as special counsel to the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force, a bipartisan team of experts that developed the policy recommendations behind Louisiana’s historic package of criminal justice reforms passed the following year. Recognizing the need to have directly impacted community members at the table, she was the architect of a series of listening sessions which allowed Louisiana citizens to address members of the task force. In just one year, Louisiana has saved 12.2M and no longer holds the title of top incarcerator in the world.

In July 2018, Alanah graduated from the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, a partnership between the George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, and George Bush presidential centers. She is one of 59 national up- and-coming leaders recognized for her commitment to solving some of our nation’s most pressing problems.

Alanah currently teaches at Tulane Law School, as an adjunct lecturer in Negotiation and Mediation Advocacy. Odoms Hebert is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law- Newark and a Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers College in New Jersey.

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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