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State lawmakers take major steps to limit use of solitary confinement for youth in Louisiana

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New legislation could limit the amount of time youth in detention centers spend in solitary confinement

Today on Louisiana Considered, we learn about the future of the use of solitary confinement on youth in state facilities. We also hear about economic development in the small town of Vidalia and learn why Starbucks workers across the country are launching union campaigns.

Back in February we spoke to Beth Schwartzapfel from the Marshall Project who, along ProPublica and NBC News, found horrific conditions at the Acadiana Center for Youth in St. Martinville, including teens held in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. But recently, state lawmakers took major steps to limit the use of solitary confinement for the state’s youth.

Schwartzapfel joins us again to discuss the future of the use of solitary confinement on youth in Louisiana facilities.

The small Louisiana town of Vidalia is set to become a major player in the clean energy industry. The Australia-based mining company Syrah Technologies is planning a major expansion of their plant in the city, where they make a material used in lithium ion batteries.

Louisiana Economic Development secretary Don Pierson and Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft tell us how this expansion is set to boost economic activity in the area.

Across the country, workers at Starbucks stores are launching union campaigns. The Gulf States Newsroom’s Stephan Bisaha produced a conversation between organizers in New Orleans and Birmingham as they talk to each other about their efforts and what they're learning.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Karen Henderson. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman, Aubry Procell, and Thomas Walsh. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Karen Henderson is an award-winning journalist whose stories have aired nationally on NPR.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.