Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) is a state-wide, membership based, parent led organization committed to abolishing the school-to-prison pipeline and reforming the juvenile justice system.
15 years ago in New Orleans, parents and families walked in the rain to the juvenile courthouse. They stood up and gave voice to over 2,000 voiceless families in Louisiana, and became the unstoppable force for families across Louisiana known as FFLIC.
Since 2000, we have become infamously known through the halls of the State Capitol and in any meeting room as the “RED SHIRTS”! Through policy advocacy and grassroots activities we continue to support the abolishment of the school to prison pipeline. We have grown our membership and trained over 100 parents who work as agents of change in their communities. FFLIC has advocated for hundreds of families whose children were and are entrapped in the school to prison pipeline.
This year, as FFLIC celebrates 15 years of accomplishments, there is still much work to do.
Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina ravaged our communities and since then, rebuilding efforts have, unfortunately, increased racism.
Due to the higher cost of living, gentrification, and new school regulations, Black families continue to lose control of what's happening in their lives.
Schools’ “zero tolerance” policies, for example, mainly affect Black youth in our state. Pushed out, they stop attending school and eventually turn to activities which lead them to prison. The deeply entrenched racism and discrimination perpetuated by the education and criminal justice systems in Louisiana destroys thousands of our children's lives and excludes them from participating in normal civic society.
FFLIC’s mission is to ensure equal life opportunities for all our children, particularly those most at risk of being criminalized. We don't want them to be tracked into the juvenile justice system because of schools that fail them.
We, as parents, can dismantle the school to prison pipeline. Through our campaigns, we build community awareness. We train and empower other parents, youth, and families with the knowledge and skills that will challenge zero tolerance policies.
FFLIC knows that children are not problems, they have problems. We need to revive the value of healthy practices and equality in how we address the challenging behaviour that children sometimes present. We must “Let our Kids be Kids!”
Gina W., United States
1. The process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying
the influx of middle classes or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.