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Friday, September 21, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith
(D)- Baton Rouge

State Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith has become well known in Baton Rouge and throughout Louisiana for
her tireless effort to champion causes she believes in. She has been a force for improving education in
public schools in East Baton Rouge Parish and the state. Smith is a former two-term president of the EBR
School Board.

The Baton Rouge native is currently serving second terms in both the Louisiana House of
Representatives and as chair of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

Rep. Patricia Smith attended St. Francis Xavier and Southern University Laboratory School before
graduating from Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her BS degree in Education
from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She did post graduate work at Youngstown State in Ohio and
Louisiana State University. She has taught in public schools in Ashtabula, Ohio and Baton Rouge.
Smith retired from ExxonMobil in 2003 after working 22 years there in Community Affairs.

Rep. Smith serves on the Appropriations, Education, Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and
Labor & Industrial Relations committees of the Legislature. She has many appointments, including to
the House Executive Committee and the Remedial Education Commission.

Her awards are too numerous to list here but include the first Martin Luther King Distinguished
Leadership Award in Politics, the “Fannie Lou Hamer Political Award” from Grambling University, the
Nurse-Family Partnership “Champion Award” and she was named “Legislator of the Year” by the
Louisiana School Board Association. She was recently accepted into the prestigious Henry Toll
Fellowship Program.

Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith is married to Freddie Smith Jr. They have six children and 11 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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