NEW ORLEANS—In a new report, the ACLU of Louisiana and Fund For Guaranteed Income (F4GI) have announced the six-month results of the Truth and Reconciliation (T&R) guaranteed income program, the nation’s first initiative focused specifically on those impacted by police violence. The program provides monthly payments of $1,000 for one year to 12 individuals in Louisiana who experienced police violence and did not receive restitution through the courts.

Funded by Deacon Leroy Close and Gracie Close, siblings who are descendants of enslavers, the T&R program is an extension of ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab, which combats racially discriminatory policing practices. The program aims to transfer economic power from the descendants of enslavers to those still affected by the vestiges of slavery and is intended to serve as a replicable model across the American South.

Key results at the six-month mark:

  • The baseline survey revealed that 60% of participants were unable to cover a surprise $400 expense and 70% had to choose lower-quality foods due to cost concerns.
  • Participants had spent between $2,500 and $150,000 on legal fees, court fees, and other costs associated with fighting charges and clearing their name
  • Six months into the program, participants report a greater ability to withstand surprise expenses, pay bills in full, find reliable transportation, and meet housing needs.
  • Improvements in mental health and overall life satisfaction have also been noted among participants.

The T&R pilot includes Louisiana residents from Jefferson and Caddo parishes, with all participants having previously taken part in the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab storytelling program. The Justice Lab not only addresses the immediate economic needs of victims but also works towards long-term systemic change by highlighting the ongoing impact of police violence and the urgent need for reparative justice.

“The Truth and Reconciliation program is a step towards transformative justice, addressing the economic and emotional toll of police violence on African-American communities through a model that acknowledges that violence as a vestige of slavery,” said Maggy Baccinelli, Senior Director of Philanthropy & Community Investment at ACLU of Louisiana. “The program has been healing for everyone involved.” 

“Basic income guarantee is a key component of reimagining communities and building a support network to help victims of police violence thrive,” said Nika Soon-Shiong, Founder and Executive Director of F4GI. 

For more information about the Truth and Reconciliation guaranteed income program and the ongoing efforts of the ACLU of Louisiana and F4GI, please visit the ACLU of Louisiana’s website and F4GI’s website.