Mayor Landrieu Commits to Reduced Appropriation for OPD in 2013 Budget

Mayor Landrieu continued his commitment to the Orleans Public Defenders (OPD), though the $800,000 recommended allocation does not ensure that OPD will be able to provide defense services to all eligible defendants in the coming year. When OPD cannot operate at capacity, the entire criminal justice system experiences delays in the administration for justice for victims, defendants and the public.

For the better part of 2012, inadequate funding forced OPD to make significant staff cuts, and required the unpaid contributions of the private bar and internal client waitlists in order to handle all cases appointed to OPD. Services were restored last month, but the office remains on the brink of service restriction. The Mayor’s
recommended allocation of $800,000 is only two-thirds of the city’s commitment last year.

“We are certainly grateful to the mayor for including OPD in his budget, but this funding does not meet the service demand. With only $800,000, our office will struggle to keep up,” said Chief Public Defender Derwyn Bunton. “Public safety depends on an efficient, reliable court system that secures convictions for the guilty and protects the rights of innocent people. This can only happen when OPD is funded on par with the other entities.”

Read more in our Press Release

Home News & Events OPD News Mayor Landrieu Commits to Reduced Appropriation for OPD in 2013 Budget
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