Andrew carries many titles: non-profit leader, coalition member, mentor, advocate, and college graduate. But it was not that long ago when he carried the label “juvenile lifer.” In June 2016, Andrew became the first juvenile lifer in Louisiana to be paroled following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Miller/Montgomery rulings that prohibited the mandatory sentencing of children to life without parole— the Louisiana Committee on Parole recognizing that he was not the same 15-year-old that went to prison in 1997.
While incarcerated Andrew completed numerous educational programs and college courses, served as a leader in multiple prisoner organizations, and taught rehabilitation and reentry classes. In August 2016, he co-founded the Louisiana Parole Project to help men and women in Louisiana who, like him, were given extreme prison sentences. Andrew earned an Associate of Science in Criminal Justice from Baton Rouge Community College and received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in criminology from LSU in May 2019. Andrew completed a Master’s in Criminology and Justice from Loyola University New Orleans in July 2021.
“When I left prison, I left behind people who are no less deserving of the opportunity I was given,” Andrew, Parole Project’s Executive Director, explained. “Our mission isn’t simply to gain freedom for men and women who have turned their lives around, it is to help remove barriers and provide them with the tools they need to reach their full potential.”