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Saturday, September 22, 2018
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Panelist Bio


John Warner Smith
CEO, Education’s Next Horizon

John Warner Smith is the founding Chief Executive Officer of Education’s Next Horizon, a statewide not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting reforms in the public education system. He previously served as Secretary of Labor for Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco from January 2004 to November 2007.

Smith is a former banker, having worked five years as a Vice President in the government banking division of JP Morgan Chase Bank. Prior to joining Chase, he served as Assistant City Manager of Development and Transportation Services for the City of Tallahassee, Florida, where he administered the development arm of city government.

From 1989 to 1997, he served as Chief Administrative Officer for Lafayette Parish and Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government, where he oversaw all departments and led the planning and implementation of local government consolidation.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from McNeese State University He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In May 2012, he will receive the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree from the University of New Orleans.

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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