Insight

Fridays at 6:44 a.m. and 8:44 a.m.

One-on-one conversations with reporters, researchers, community leaders, and thinkers about what's happening around us in Baton Rouge and Louisiana at large.  Insight probes the big big ideas, and the big picture.

A couple of years ago, law enforcement in Baton Rouge decided to try a different approach to tackling violent crime.

The Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project — or BRAVE — is premised by the idea that social influence can be a driver for amplifying or suppressing criminal behavior. That’s how Tracey Rizzuto — psychologist, researcher, and associate professor at LSU — got drawn into it.

She’s aiding the BRAVE project with social network analysis. And she’s going to be talking about her work tomorrow at TEDxLSU.

Brennan Center

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

The Brennan Center for Justice recently put out a report on the effect of imprisonment on crime. Lauren-Brooke Eisen, one of the authors of the report, walks through some of the findings.


There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the sidewalk of Piney Creek Road ... It was a crime impossible during daylight, when we neighborhood kids would have been tearing around in go-karts, coloring chalk figures on our driveways, or chasing snake down into storm gutters. But at night, the streets of Woodland Hills sat empty and quiet, except for the pleasure of frogs greeting the mosquitoes that rose in squadrons from the swamps behind our properties.

— That’s how “My Sunshine Away”, the debut novel from M.O. Walsh, begins.

It’s a suspense and a coming of age story set in an idyllic suburban neighborhood unsettled when a teenage girl — the narrator’s boyhood crush — is attacked.

Specifically, the novel is set in Baton Rouge. That’s where M.O. Walsh is from, but he now lives in New Orleans where he’s the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at UNO.


A new series of conversations about what to do with the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools has begun.

“Beyond Bricks EBR” got started in response to an effort to restructure the parish school district and allow individual schools to be more autonomous. Anna Fogle got drawn in to the search for other solutions as the head of a group representing parents of children in the Gifted and Talented Program, which was threatened by the restructuring plan.

But the conversations are much broader than just Gifted and Talented.

Rev. Robin McCullough-Bade with the Interfaith Federation, is helping to get churches and faith leaders involved.

Working Congress
Robert Mann / LSU Press

Robert Mann is sending every member of the recently convened 114th Congress a copy of the book Working Congress.

Mann put together the short volume — it’s just 120 pages — with advice from scholars, former Congressional staffers, and former members of Congress from both parties about how to get things moving again in Washington, D.C.


Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting a much anticipated and much talked about prayer rally Saturday. WRKF’s state government reporter, Sue Lincoln discusses what it’s all about.


Rep. Cedric Richmond
United States Congress

Not even two weeks into its new session, the U.S. House has already passed a bill to chip away at Obamacare by only requiring that employers provide health insurance to employees working 40 hours or more, instead of 30 hours as is the current mandate. And the House voted for legislation meant to block President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

But 2nd District Congressman Cedric Richmond — the sole Democrat left in Louisiana’s delegation — is optimistic that — with the presidential race coming up — there will be opportunity to get some things done for his minority constituents once the Republicans get past their conservative talking points.

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow speaking with reporters outside of the Supreme Court.
HRC

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to take up Robicheaux v. George -- the case challenging Louisiana’s ban on the marriage of same-sex couples. It may be the case that decides the issue once and for all for the entire nation.


Gwen Hamilton
Don Kadair

Gwen Hamilton was involved in forming the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. She was recently called back in as its interim CEO.

She talks a lot about “transformative change” — the sort of change you can’t help but notice.


Melinda Deslatte
Associated Press

Melinda Deslatte, capitol correspondent for the Associated Press, sums up 2014, or at least the year in Louisiana politics.

 


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