Zoe Sullivan, contributing writer for the Louisiana Weekly, reports on the August 22nd hearing of the Criminal Justice Committee of the New Orleans City Council at which a range of people within the criminal justice system gave testimony about the city's new Vera-run pre-trial services program. After its first three months in operation, the program is getting high marks from most quarters, including the initially skeptical chief of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, Major Rochelle Lee.
Lee spoke plainly when she responded to a question from Guidry about the pre-trial services operation. “It’s been working out pretty good. I was really negative on this. I’m from the old school, and I think change is not good,” she said. Yet, Lee went on, in spite of her expectations that the program would only last for two weeks, “they’re still there, and they’re doing an excellent job.”