OPD's Client Services Division Honored for Excellence in Drug Prevention

CADA award reducedWe'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.

“Client Services advocates and social workers are doing tremendous work. They not only assist many of my clients while incarcerated, but they are instrumental in arranging services and resources to ease their transition back into society,” said Marvin Trudeau, Social Worker in Orleans Parish Prison.

In the relatively short time the division has been in existence, they have helped thousands of indigent defendants with everything from reducing bonds and receiving medical and mental healthcare in jail; to securing treatment programs for alcohol and drug addictions; housing and other reentry services; to resolving over-detention issues and ensuring defendants don’t spend unnecessary time in jail; as well as advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

OPD’s practice is an emerging holistic, community-oriented one that works in all courts and reaches beyond the courtroom. Our clients are citizens of New Orleans who come from rich and diverse communities that deserve an advocate during the difficult and confusing court process. OPD fights each day for a fair and balanced, open and honest criminal justice system, not just for indigent defendants, but all involved.

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