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

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Patricia Connelly
Communications Dept.
pconnelly@vera.org

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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.

[Excerpt]

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.