- Wednesday, 15 July 2015
OPD is facing a $1 million shortfall. The current budget crisis is brought about in part from underfunding and budget cuts by the state and in part from underfunding by the city in the form disparity with other criminal justice agents and the reliance on fines and fees.
But the budget crisis is brought about entirely as a result of an unstable, unreliable and inadequate user-pay regime of funding that makes it impossible to predict from year to year when the next extreme budget shortfall will occur. In the absence of sustainable funding by both the city and the state, we will continue to have a budget crisis every few years when funding by either entity inevitably falls short; the result of which are ultimately unhealthy for New Orleans' criminal justice system.
- Monday, 22 June 2015
New Orleans – Constitutionally-required legal representation is once again in jeopardy in New Orleans due to decreased revenue and budget shortfalls for the Orleans Public Defenders (OPD). Last week, Chief Defender Derwyn Bunton alerted criminal justice stakeholders that OPD was again short of necessary funding due to the continued decline of revenue both locally and at the state level.
- Monday, 01 June 2015
New Orleans, LA – Last week the MacArthur Foundation named New Orleans one of its 19 Safety and Justice Challenge sites and awarded the city a grant to reduce local jail population. Led by the Mayor’s office, the Orleans Public Defenders (OPD) will be a key partner in the project, along with the New Orleans City Council, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Judiciary, the New Orleans Police Department, the District Attorney, Baptist Community Ministries, and the Louisiana Institute for Public Health and Justice.
- Friday, 01 May 2015
We're thrilled to announce the recent recognition of our own Supervising Social Worker, Ginger Parsons and the entire Client Services Division as the 2015 Excellence in Prevention honoree by the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for Greater New Orleans. The award recognizes a significant contribution to the field of substance abuse prevention in New Orleans and those who have had a positive impact on the lives of young New Orleanians by reducing their risk for substance abuse. CADA’s Executive Director, Joyce Bracey presented the award today at their annual award luncheon.
Led by Parsons, OPD’s Client Services Division is the only division of its kind in Louisiana and consists of 10 client advocates and 3 social workers, all tirelessly working to expand the reach of our community-oriented defense practice. In 2014 alone, Client Services assisted more than 13,000 clients and provided nearly 2,000 direct services.