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Friday, September 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Albert Samuels, Ph.D.
Mandela School of Public Policy, Southern University

Dr. Albert L. Samuels is a native of Shreveport, LA. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in Social Sciences (both from Southern University) and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Louisiana State University. He has taught political science at Southern University since 1999 and currently serves as the Interim Dean of the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences. From 2014-2016, he served as Chair of the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice.

During the Spring Semester of 2014, he was elected by his faculty colleagues to the office of Vice President of the Southern University Faculty Senate. His research interests include American politics, black politics, Louisiana politics, educational policy, and voting rights. He has taught courses in American Government, State and Local Government, Louisiana Politics, the American Presidency, Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, Race Relations, Comparative Politics, and Politics and Religion.

Dr. Samuels has authored numerous scholarly publications. Most prominently among them is Is Separate Unequal: Black Colleges and the Challenge to Desegregation (2004, University of Kansas Press). This book earned the Best Book Award from the Race and Ethnicity Section of the American Political Science Association at its 2005 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Samuels has been frequently featured in media outlets as a commentator on local, state, and national political events.

He is married to the former Kathy Branch of Baton Rouge, LA. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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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