Prison Releases

Incarceration disproportionately impacts poor and minority communities. Individuals with a criminal record often experience reduced earnings and employment after incarceration.[i] Many have difficulty successfully reintegrating into society — accessing housing and health care treatment, for example.[ii] Of those released from incarceration between 2004-2012 in Louisiana, 45 percent returned to custody within five years for a new crime or parole violation.[iii] When released detainees recidivate, all costs associated with an arrest and incarceration will be incurred again, along with the cost of additional victimizations. Community coalitions that work to overcome the multi-pronged challenges returning residents face are essential for reducing the costs associated with recidivism.[iv]

Number of people released from Louisiana State prisons by race/ethnicity and gender, Orleans Parish, 2019

Prison releases are the number of people that were convicted of a state felony in this parish who were released from Louisiana Department of Corrections custody in 2018.

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Severe housing problems

The ability to afford stable and adequate housing can significantly impact a family’s well-being. In 2018, more than half of all households in Louisiana fell below the ALICE threshold, meaning they did not earn enough money to meet their basic needs, such as adequate housing. Good reliable housing protects families from harmful exposures and provides them with a sense of privacy, security, and stability. Poor-quality housing contributes to health problems such as infectious and chronic diseases, as well as mental health problems, such as anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. Moreover, inadequate housing can reduce children’s ability to do homework, can lead to conflict among family members, and can inhibit overall childhood development.[i] This indicator is the percent of households with at least one of four housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, and/or lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities. Data reported here is prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, though it will likely exacerbate existing rates of severe housing problems.

Households by occupant type facing severe housing problems, Orleans Parish, 2013-2017

Notes: The percent of households with severe housing problems was calculated by dividing the total number of households by the number of households with at least one of the following housing problems: 1) Incomplete kitchen facilities, defined as a unit which lacks a sink with running water, a stove or range, or a refrigerator. 2) Incomplete plumbing facilities, defined as lacking hot and cold piped water, a flush toilet, or a bathtub/shower. 3) Overcrowding, defined as more than one person per room and 4) Severe cost burden, defined as monthly housing costs (including utilities) exceeding 50 percent of monthly income.

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Households facing severe housing problems, 2013-2017

Notes: The percent of households with severe housing problems was calculated by dividing the total number of households by the number of households with at least one of the following housing problems: 1) Incomplete kitchen facilities, defined as a unit which lacks a sink with running water, a stove or range, or a refrigerator. 2) Incomplete plumbing facilities, defined as lacking hot and cold piped water, a flush toilet, or a bathtub/shower. 3) Overcrowding, defined as more than one person per room and 4) Severe cost burden, defined as monthly housing costs (including utilities) exceeding 50 percent of monthly income.

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Voter Turnout

Voting is a form of civic engagement that contributes to the shaping of public policy. In addition, high voter participation rates increase elected officials’ sense of accountability to voters. Historically, women and people of color did not have the right to vote. More recently, voter participation has been greater among individuals with higher education levels and higher incomes.[i] Increases in voter participation among historically disenfranchised voters can be an important step towards more inclusive and equitable policies.

Percent of registered voters casting a vote in the 2020 presidential election by race/ethnicity, Orleans Parish

Notes: Voter turnout rate is calculated by dividing the number of qualified voters who are registered to vote, as defined by the Louisiana Secretary of State, by the number of people who voted in the 2020 presidential election.

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Percent of registered voters casting a vote in the 2020 presidential election

Notes: Voter turnout rate is calculated by dividing the number of qualified voters who are registered to vote, as defined by the Louisiana Secretary of State, by the number of people who voted in the 2020 presidential election.

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