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Sheriff Craig Webre announced inmates at the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex recently took part in the first White Flag Exposition. Inmates posted white flags on the front lawn outside the complex during a ceremony on April 1, 2021. This event was created to mark the beginning of Second Chance Month which has been annually observed during the month of April since 2017.
As an internationally recognized sign of peace and surrender, a white flag was personalized and signed by each participating inmate as a symbol of atonement for their past and to proclaim their desire for a new life. Some wrote heartfelt messages on the flags to acknowledge the effects of their past actions on others. Members of the Southeast Central Regional Reentry Program team were joined by Sheriff Webre, Major Cortrell Davis (Warden), LPSO Police Social Services staff, and representatives from the Louisiana Department of Corrections to assist participants in planting the flags. Their participation signified the staff’s willingness to do whatever it takes to help the inmates achieve their second chance.
“We wanted to provide the inmates an opportunity to confirm their intent to renounce their past and strive for a new peaceful life,” said Captain Karla Beck, coordinator of the White Flag Exposition project. “Re-entry programs like those offered at the Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex are crucial in giving offenders the opportunity and the power to change. As we intervene while they are incarcerated and begin to provide the tools needed for reform, we significantly reduce the probability of re-incarceration and we increase community safety. That’s what second chances are really about.”
Second Chance Month is a national effort to raise awareness of the collateral consequences of criminal conviction and unlock second-chance opportunities for those who have completed their sentences to become contributing citizens.
The flags will remain on display throughout the month of April, which will also include recognition of the 40th anniversary of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 18-24, 2021. This annual commemoration is aimed at raising awareness about victims’ rights and associated issues. Sheriff Webre and the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office have been leaders in the provision of services and support for victims.