OPD Implements Restriction of Services as Funding Drops

logo hi resNew 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.

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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.

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OPD Partners with Tulane Medical School for Public Health Rotation

logo hi resFourth year Tulane medical student Max Shapiro is spending a month of his medical training this summer to immerse himself in the criminal justice system, the clients represented by the Orleans Public Defenders and the vast challenges defendants face at Tulane and Broad.

What may seem like an unusual partnership is an innovative initiative by Tulane School of Medicine to connect students to the New Orleans community, expose them to the challenges that underserved populations are facing today, and provide support to community-based agencies.

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OPD Honors Willy Boggs and Steve Singer as 2015 Clyde Merritt Award Recipients

2015 Clyde Merritt Award Recipients reducedOPD recently honored Steve Singer and Willy Boggs as the 2015 recipients of the “Clyde Merritt Award,” recognizing their extraordinary dedication to public defense. Together, Singer and Boggs have revolutionized the face of public defense in New Orleans in the 10 years post-Hurricane Katrina. Both were instrumental in establishing the current client-centered, community-oriented defense practice that now sets the bar for indigent defense in Louisiana.

OPD’s clients are more justly represented, public defense and the New Orleans criminal justice system and far more fair and just because of their involvement. Quite simply, OPD would not be what it is today, without the passion, leadership and zealous commitment of Steve Singer and Willy Boggs.

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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.

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Orleans Public Defenders
2601 Tulane Avenue
Suite 700
New Orleans, LA 70119
    Tel: (504) 821-8101
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