Events / COVID-19 and Criminal Justice

Justice & Humanity in a Time of Pandemic

Past Event
Friday, Apr 24, 2020
1:00 PM — 2:00 PM CT

A webinar on Vera's New Orleans COVID response. Vera's work in New Orleans began in 2006, when the City Council invited us to assess the criminal justice system and propose reforms as part of post-Katrina recovery efforts. Since then, we have become a nexus for advancing evidence-based reform and have demonstrated that change is not only possible, but within reach. Facing a crisis no one was prepared for, our New Orleans office swiftly executed a three-part COVID strategy—including statewide education, data analysis, and communication with judges—to assist local and statewide actors in their understanding of what they should know and what they could do, and follow up to help where needed. Thanks to our work, and the work of our partner organizations, a number of people had their bail amounts reduced, and then were bailed out. We haven't seen jail population numbers this low in New Orleans since the '70s. Vera's New Orleans Director Will Snowden led our conversation on current jail decarceration efforts and policing practices during the epidemic, and ways justice systems can ensure the dignity, health, and safety of men and women in custody.