Live blog Friday: Symposium on violent crime in New Orleans

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The Lens live-blogged a criminal-justice symposium, “Preventing Lethal Violence in New Orleans,” at Loyola University on Friday.

The event aimed to highlight “effective community-based solutions” to the city’s struggle with violent crime.

New Orleans could use some effective, community-based solutions, considering that six people were shot on Tuesday alone, one fatally.

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas spoke at 9 a.m.

The afternoon session kicked off at 1:45 p.m. with a speech by renowned criminologist David Kennedy from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Kennedy is the architect of the Ceasefire crime-fighting initiative that calls on cities to target the small number of hard-core criminals who commit most violent felonies.

At 10:45 a.m. New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo spoke about NOLA for Life, the city’s “public health approach to murder reduction.”

In other forums, DeSalvo has spoken about mentally ill people who have fallen through the cracks, only to commit heinous crimes. Last week, the city dealt with yet another heartbreaking homicide with the double homicide of two toddlers at the hands of their mentally-ill mother.

A candlelight vigil for the toddlers was held Thursday night on the 3300 block of Audubon Court in Gert Town, where the alleged crime occurred.

Other speakers at the Loyola event included Harvard professor Robert Sampson, who described successful efforts to reduce violence in Chicago, a couple of Loyola sociology professors, and California-based sociologist and professor Nikki Jones, whose talk was called “The Hustle: Why It’s Hard to Make Good in Today’s Inner City.”

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