This week, the director of the Travis Hill School inside of New Orleans’ jail, Christy Sampson Kelly, was arrested for an allegedly inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old imprisoned man. Evidence supposedly included over 700 recorded phone calls of a sexual nature, and Kelly depositing hundreds of dollars in the young man’s account.
I worked under “Miss Christy,” as we called her, for almost two months in summer 2019 at Travis Hill. And though I can’t say I knew her, definitely not enough to defend her, I find this news unbelievable. It’s tough to imagine anyone crossing that dangerously stupid line, much less Miss Christy.
Travis Hill School, a charter run by the non-profit Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings since 2016, remains a beautiful example of the way America should handle young people, or really any people, who’ve broken serious laws: At the jail, recently renamed the Orleans Justice Center (OJC), any imprisoned person 21 years old or younger is forced to attend high school, with the goal of earning not a GED but a real diploma.
At last summer’s end, I watched two students walk across the stage in their cap-n-gowns.
Named after a New Orleans musician who spent time in jail as a youth before becoming a beloved local trumpet player and bandleader, Travis Hill is one of very few in-prison schools in incarceration-addicted America. TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AT BayouBrief.com CLICK HERE