Members of the Board
Preston Robinson, Executive Director, served as Chief of Staff for United States Senator John Kennedy (R-La) from 2016-2020, after managing Kennedy’s successful 2016 campaign for the Senate. He previously served as Louisiana’s Deputy State Treasurer for Management and Finance. He holds an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and an MPA from Villanova University.
M. Pres Kabacoff
M. Pres Kabacoff is Chairman of the Board for HRI Properties, based in New Orleans, with interests nationwide, specializing in historic restoration and mixed use and mixed income developments. In 2019 Kabacoff received the Lynne and Jerome Goldman Criminal Justice Reform Award from Court Watch NOLA. He is an active supporter of reform efforts led by the Vera Institute in New Orleans, including current efforts to improve access to effective mental health services for those accused or convicted of a crime in Orleans Parish.
C. Geron “Gee Gee” Hargon
C. Geron “Gee Gee” Hargon is a retired executive of the financial services industry having managed small and large, public and private financial institutions. Gee Gee has devoted time since 2016 to criminal justice reform issues, was a past member of Smart on Crime's steering committee, and a director of the Louisiana Parole Project, which helps those reentering the community after serving lengthy sentences.
Mary L. Livers, Ph.D.,
Mary L. Livers, Ph.D., is a national expert, consultant, trainer, and professor. She is the founding President of Livers Corrections Consulting LLC, and a part-time adjunct professor at Louisiana State University. She retired from the state of Louisiana as the deputy secretary of the Office of Juvenile Justice in Louisiana where she was appointed by the Governor and served on his cabinet as the agency head of the Office of Juvenile Justice for almost 8 years. Dr. Livers served as President of the American Correctional Association (ACA) from 2015-2017. She was inducted into the Louisiana Criminal Justice Hall of Fame in 2016, and in August 2019 received the E.R. Cass Award, the highest award bestowed upon an individual within the membership of the American Correctional Association.
C.J. Blache is an attorney with 30 years of experience in governmental relations and regulatory law at the state and local level. His diverse clientele includes public and quasi-public entities and some of the largest corporations in the petro-chemical industry, transportation, maritime, and business arena. He previously served as Assistant Secretary of Labor over Employment Security, Louisiana Department of Labor and Chief legal counsel to the Louisiana House Labor Committee. C.J. is active in multiple civic, business and non-profit entities and presently serves on the boards of Liberty Bank and Trust, The Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and the River City Jazz Coalition. C.J. is the founder of 100 Black Men of Baton Rouge.
Edward S. Shihadeh
Professor Edward S. Shihadeh joined LSU in 1992 with a Ph.D. from Penn State. He began his career as a mathematical demographer but later pivoted his towards crime and the extensive social problems in inner cities. He is earned an LSU distinguished scholar award, a Rainmaker award, and other accolades. He created and now directs the interdisciplinary CAPER, Crime and Policy Evaluation Research Group at LSU. Recently, through a federal grant, he created a risk and needs tool, called TIGER, a multi-algorithm tool derived from machine-learning analytics. TIGER is currently used by Louisiana corrections personnel to make evidence-based decisions on offender release and treatment. Thanks to this risk and needs tool, Louisiana's prison population has declined by 13,000, or about 33%.
Allies and Partners
Frank Neuner, managing member of the law firm NeunerPate, currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation, and is Co-Chair of Lafayette Outreach for Civil Justice. He is a past President of the Louisiana State Bar Association, and past chair of the Louisiana Public Defender Board (2008-2013). Frank is a recipient of the ABA Solo & Small Firm Lifetime Achievement Award and the Louisiana Bar Foundation 2013 Distinguished Attorney Award.
The American Conservative Union Foundation
The American Conservative Union Foundation, Nolan Center for Justice was established by the American Conservative Union Foundation to provide leadership for the growing conservative consensus that our criminal justice system is badly broken, and that there are proven, conservative reforms that will keep the public safe while restraining costs. The Center raises public awareness of conservative criminal justice reforms through opinion pieces, media interviews, briefing papers, and testifying as expert witnesses at government hearings. We also assist legislators and leaders of government agencies in applying conservative principles as they craft solutions to crime and justice issues.
The Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc.
The Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc. (C100) is a non-governmental organization supported by private sector business leaders operating as a business roundtable in Louisiana dedicated to the state’s long-term economic growth by influencing issues that impact economic and business development.
Council for a Better Louisiana
Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) was founded in 1962 with the mission of improving the quality of life for all citizens of Louisiana. CABL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan statewide organization that works on issues in the public interest. It does this by raising citizen awareness, advancing sound public policies, holding government accountable, and fostering civic leadership. CABL values cultural diversity within its programs, and is dedicated to seeking and advocating for solutions that will move Louisiana forward.
The Louisiana Parole Project
The Louisiana Parole Project is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was created to respond to the needs of “juvenile lifers” who may be paroled and returned to our communities; The Parole Project is committed to ensuring that their reintegration is successful. The Parole Project also serves “40-year lifers” who are now eligible for parole consideration due to changes in Louisiana law. We also help individuals who have been incarcerated for twenty years or longer, have aged out of criminal behavior, and can demonstrate a record of rehabilitation.
The Promise of Justice Initiative
The Promise of Justice Initiative is a New Orleans based nonprofit that works to create positive change for people in the criminal justice system at the intersection of direct services, impact litigation, and community engagement.
RESET Louisiana, a targeted, nonpartisan effort led by The Committee of 100 (C100), Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL), and the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) focused on four essential issues: education, state finances, criminal justice/public safety, and transportation infrastructure.