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Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Mark Schleifstein
NOLA.Com & Times-Picayune

Mark Schleifstein is the environment and hurricane reporter for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, and a leader of its new Louisiana Coastal Reporting Team.

He is the co-author of the December 2008 series, “Losing Louisiana,” explaining the role of global warming, sea level rise and subsidence on the future of the Louisiana coastline. He also was co-author of a March 2007 series “Last Chance: The Fight to Save a Disappearing Coast,”, which won the 2008 Communications Award of the National Academy of Sciences and the 2007 and John B. Oakes Prize for Environmental Reporting from Columbia University.
He’s also co-author of the 2002 series, "Washing Away," which warned that much of New Orleans could be flooded by hurricane storm surge because levees were too low and subject to overtopping. The series won awards from the National Hurricane Conference and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Schleifstein's reporting on Katrina was among the newspaper's stories honored with 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service and Breaking News Reporting and the George Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting. He's also the co-author with John McQuaid of the book "Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms," about Katrina. Stories he wrote on coastal science issues were honored in 2006 with a special award from the American Geophysical Union. He also was co-author of the 1996 series, "Oceans of Trouble: Are the World's Fisheries Doomed?", which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Two other series he co-authored were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize: , "Home Wreckers: How the Formosan termite is devastating New Orleans," published in 1998, finalist for national reporting; and "Louisiana in Peril," published in 1991, finalist for explanatory journalism.

Schleifstein is a member of the board of directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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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