OPD Named MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge Partner in New Orleans

logo hi resNew 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.

 

New Orleans is the most incarcerated city in the most incarcerated state in the most incarcerated country in the world – a designation many stakeholders within the community prefer to change.

“For too long, our criminal justice system has focused on intervention and capacitation. This is a chance for us as a system to reorient ourselves and address the underlying problems. Jail is not always the answer; that has been made abundantly clear as we incarcerate more and more people for nonviolent offenses, many that are better served by treatment,” said Chief Defender Derwyn Bunton. “We are thrilled to sit at the table and hopefully make meaningful change in New Orleans.”

For more information, visit www.safetyandjusticechallenge.org.

The Orleans Public Defenders provides client-centered, community-oriented legal representation of the highest quality – zealous, conscientious, caring, professional, ethical and skilled – in all courts and 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 acts to protect the guarantees of the Constitution, foster a more open and inclusive criminal justice system by increasing access to, and protection within, the courts for the poor, and assist in the development and expansion of rehabilitation and alternative programs for clients and their families.

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