PELICAN INSTITUTE: Tackling The Crime Epidemic
Families across Louisiana, as well as the whole country, are feeling the impact of rising crime rates. There’s no denying a significant problem, particularly in America’s cities, as violent and property crime rates increase to recent heights. Of course, this is not a new phenomenon. Crime rates have risen and fallen at various points throughout history, and extended economic downturns often thrust the problem into the spotlight.
The reasons behind recent spikes, and what can be done about them, is critical to study and understand. Our team will have a lot more to say about this soon, and we will soon be releasing a deep dive into the data from Louisiana. In the meantime, though, a few things are clear.
In the short term, we must invest in recruiting, training, and compensating the men and women in law enforcement who serve communities across our state. This is primarily the role of local government, but state policy also matters.
The state should continue working to adopt policies with a track record of reducing recidivism (repeat criminal behavior) and overall crime rates.
Re-entry efforts should focus on, and be held accountable for, getting formerly incarcerated citizens back to work and re-integrated into our communities.
State and local officials should be held accountable for transparency, implementation, and upholding the rule of law. Ultimately, this is the work of voters, lawmakers, the media, and watchdog groups like ours.
That’s why a coalition of groups, businesses, and leaders have come together in New Orleans to launch The NOLA Coalition. The newly-formed group has come together to develop a set of principles as well as encourage Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the City Council to take bold, urgent steps to curb rising crime and empower law enforcement officials including the NOPD to get control of the city.
This is a noble effort, and perhaps other similar coalitions can come together in other cities across Louisiana. Change happens when we bring together job creators, church and community leaders, and policymakers. Cheers to The NOLA Coalition, and all those working to reduce crime and increase public safety in Louisiana.