The Parish Prison

Louisiana Democrats and Republicans team up to reform deplorable jail conditions by building a new facility closer to New Orleans.

men in prison inside a classroom
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
February 1, 2020
13 minutes
Funding Initiative
Short-Form Series and Special Projects
The Parish Prison director, Joanne Elgart Jennings.

Joanne E Jennings

Joanne Elgart Jennings is an award-winning multimedia journalist and executive. She is currently vice president of editorial at World Affairs, where she executive produces the eponymous weekly public radio program and podcast. Joanne’s work has been honored by numerous journalistic organizations, including the National Academy of Television Arts Show more & Sciences, the Society of Professional Journalists, CINE, and New York Festivals. Show less

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The Film

Louisiana is the only state in the nation which houses more than half its prisoners in local jails. Most of these jails are in remote, impoverished areas of the state, far from urban centers, and conditions are often deplorable. The head of corrections in the state has called these jails nothing more than “lock and feed facilities.”