Lifelines to Healing
Lifelines to Healing aims to:
- Reduce the murder rate
- Reduce the mass incarceration of members of communities of color and strengthen re-entry programs
- Increase job and educational opportunities
This work is linked to a national campaign, and other PICO affiliates across the United States are also building strong, accountable partnerships with law enforcement agencies in their cities and states to transform how police departments relate to communities; implement street outreach and other gang-intervention programs; reform the justice systems to promote successful re-entry of ex-offenders; and expand education and job opportunities for urban youth.
The US's incarceration rate is more than six times higher than any other industrialized nation; currently, 1 in 100 adults are incarcerated, 1 in 15 adult African Americans, and 1 in 9 African American young adults (20-34). And Louisiana's rate is even worse. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with 1 in 55 people currently incarcerated, a rate higher than in South Africa during apartheid. There is something unjust about our justice system.
Micah is working to correct the imbalance in our criminal justice system. Learn more about Micah's work around criminal justice in New Orleans.
Justice Shall We Pursue Action
On April 24, over 400 local faith leaders gathered at Household of Faith Family Worship Church International, where Deputy Mayor Andrew Kopplin, Commissioner James Carter, Sheriff Marlin Gusman, and a representative from Councilwoman Guidry's office agreed to implement specific measures to reduce unnecessary pre-trial incarceration.
Learn more about the action.
Lifelines to Healing November 15 Action
On November 15, over 2,000 people filled Household of Faith Family Worship Church to capacity for Micah and PICO's Lifelines to Healing Kick-off Action. At this action, local lay leaders and clergy were joined by over 500 clergy attending PICO's National Gathering of Clergy, allies from Florida, and college students from Baton Rouge to take important steps to improve education and create a more just criminal justice system.
At the action, detailed research was augmented by personal testimony by Micah leaders, including 10-year-old Jordan Ratliff, on how education and criminal justice directly affect our lives.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Recovery School District Superintendent John White responded to the testimony and research, and U.S. Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson addressed the crowd by video.
To learn more about the successes of this action, click here.
Micah clergy leaders regularly walk on Friday night through Central City and the Treme to listen to and pray with residents about violence and connect with the community. This violence reduction technique builds off of Micah's experience last year walking through the Lower Ninth on group violence reduction projects that have proven successful in decreasing violence in multiple cities including Boston and Sacramento
Night Out Against Crime
On October 11, over 300 people attended the "Night Out Against Crime" meeting in Jefferson. Leaders from Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church, First Zion Baptist Church, First Mission Baptist Church, St. James Ministries, and Marine & Mount Mariah Ministries all attended as well as a newly-elected Councilman Paul Johnston, a representative from the Jefferson Parish Police Department, a representative from the Jefferson Parish Fire Department, and Will Smith, who plays for the New Orleans Saints.
The meeting included a moving candle light memorial honoring those in the neighborhood lost to drugs, crime, and violence. Elder Jane Robinson of Marine and & Mount Mariah Ministries officiated and Demone Robinson read a poem honoring those lost to violence (click here to read the poem).