The Lens (New Orleans), Crime chief proposing more money for pretrial screening


Patricia Connelly
Communications Dept.




Jon Wool
Aug 22 2012

The Lens editor reports that numerous speakers spoke favorably of Vera’s nearly four-month-old pretrial services program at a August 20th meeting of the New Orleans City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee. One of the speakers, the city’s criminal justice commission, proposed a tripling of the program’s budget, which would allow Vera to ex­pand its reach to all felony-charged arrestees, as well as include those brought into the sys­tem on state mis­de­meanor charges.


New Or­leans’ crim­i­nal jus­tice com­mis­sioner said Wednes­day he wants to more than triple the city money pro­vided to the Vera In­sti­tute for Jus­tice’s pre­trial ser­vices pro­gram at Or­leans Parish Prison.

The pro­gram is de­signed to help as­sess the flight risk and dan­ger to the com­mu­nity that an ar­restee poses. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s rec­om­men­da­tion is for­warded to the mag­is­trate, who con­sid­ers it while set­ting a bond amount.

Com­mis­sioner James Carter was one of seven speak­ers giv­ing fa­vor­able re­views of the in­si­tute’s rel­a­tively young pro­gram dur­ing a dis­cus­sion be­fore the City Coun­cil’s Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Com­mit­tee.