June 2, 2020

Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. (Michael Isaac Stein/The Lens)

"Kelly Orians, co-director of the First 72+, a re-entry program in New Orleans that provides resources to the formerly incarcerated, said that both her personal and professional experiences have led her to believe that a solution to the problem of domestic violence is not going to be found in the crimina...

June 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

For too long, our televisions and our newspapers have been filled with images and accounts of a country in deep, deep pain. But this pain is not new, it is not fresh, it is a pain, a frustration, a heartache, a rage that so many in our country live with, every day. Some of the earliest lessons bestowed by Black mothers upon their children are lessons about how...

May 29, 2020

First 72+ friends and family, 

The day after COVID-19 forced us to close our office we got a call from a very friendly and curious reporter at The New Yorker. For the next two months Ms. Sarah Stillman kept up with us and community organizations like ours all across the country, capturing the reality of life on the ground for currently and formerly incarcerated people, and...

 "Across the country, in states such as California, New Jersey, Louisiana, Illinois, and Oregon, people coming home from prison during the coronavirus crisis are running into this seemingly simple but overwhelming dilemma: How do you get an official ID when almost every licensing office is closed? And without an ID, how do you do anything? Many said they are left in limbo,...

May 1, 2020

What’s New at The First 72? In some ways everything has changed, some things are completely the same.

Although our physical office closed on March 17, we are as motivated as we have ever been to support our clients and community in all of the ways that we possibly can. You can find more details about how to access our services on our website

We are still here to help! Sinc...

February 15, 2020

Exciting updates, announcements, and more from

The First 72+! 

Check out this interview that The First 72+ Peer Mentor Henry did with theGrio. He shares about how the criminalization of marijuana has impacted him, and the reality of the tough choices many make simply to support their families. The fact that the recent decriminalization of marijuana has done nothing to benef...

February 6, 2020

"Kelly E. Orians, codirectora de la organización The First 72+ en New Orleans explica por qué las primeras 72 horas son cruciales en la experiencia de reingreso a la sociedad. “En Louisiana, las personas salen de la cárcel con un cheque de 10 dólares, un boleto de autobús y la ropa que llevan puesta. Para cobrar ese cheque, necesitan una tarjeta de identificación estatal q...

February 6, 2020

"The person who probably was selling weed didn't have a weed problem, they had a money problem." - Henry Byous, Black entrepreneur

In 2011, Henry Byous had just come home from the hospital with his girlfriend, who had given birth to their child, a bouncing baby boy. But their celebration of a new life would soon be cut short.

“I brought him home from the hospital,” Byous tel...

January 21, 2020

"The small business owner now works with the First 72+ program, helping other formerly incarcerated people like him start their own businesses as well as finding them transitional housing and mental health services in the first days of their release. The program’s small business incubator has had its hands in the launch or scale-up of 22 small businesses. According to Firs...

January 17, 2020

A criminal record clean slate is expensive in Louisiana, but a new lawsuit aims to change that.

"The suit, filed in December by the advocacy groups The First 72+ and Equal Justice Under Law on behalf of three Louisiana residents, argues that these fees should be waived for people who qualify for expungements but can’t afford to pay for them. Expungements are generally avail...

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'Help, not punishment': John Legend lends his support to local advocates for criminal justice reform

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