Louisiana Incarcerated is an
that ran recently in the New Orleans
. It is a story rooted in an extremely poor ethics environment
that, despite vaunted ethics reforms (that many, including me, have
criticized), does not seem to have changed.
The series has introduced into popular culture the term "honey
hole," one sheriff's description of the cells in his prison, which
is the sheriff's biggest revenue generator.
The words "revenue" and "prisoner" should not be spoken in the same
sentence, as we saw in
Luzerne County, PA
and as could be seen for decades in the
prison plantations of many U.S. states. It is no accident that
Louisiana has, by far, a higher incarceration rate than any other state.
When it is in the direct financial interest of local government officials
to have more people incarcerated, there will probably be more people
incarcerated. That's why the subheadline of the series is "Sheriffs and politicians have
financial incentives to keep people locked up."