Criminal Justice Committee Activities
Court Watch NOLA
Established in June 2007 in response to
the need of greater accountability, transparency and efficiency in the criminal
justice system, Court Watch NOLA was
conceived by Citizens for 1 Executive Committee Members in coordination with
Common Good, Metropolitan Crime Commission, and Business Council of New Orleans
and the River Region. Following its creation in June 2007, a professional
executive director and board of directors have been established.
New Orleans Crime Coalition
Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans is a
founding member of New Orleans Crime Coalition -- a coalition of regional
businesses and civic organizations urging city leaders to focus the resources
of the police, prosecutors, and the judicial system on convicting and
incarcerating the most violent criminal defenders. The coalition officially
launched in February 2007. Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans serves on the
Efforts to secure federal funding for
established priorities have been achieved.
Parish Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative/Youth Study Center
Citizens for 1, through its Criminal
Justice Reform Committee, has worked with Orleans Parish Juvenile Court in its
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), supported by Annie E. Casey
Foundation through their recognized national best practice research and
delivery of service model.
The Initiative’s advisory committee, on
which Criminal Justice Reform Committee members are represented, has worked to
assess and respond to the need for services based on the current and future
juvenile population. Committee members have advocated a continuum of
care/service model and have testified at City Council Meetings.
The committee extensively researched
best practices and proposed that conditions improve for youth housed at the
Orleans Parish Youth Study Center (YSC). A written report was compiled that
included observations and research and was widely distributed. Recommendations
were discussed with appropriate government officials.
Victim Allies Project (VAP)
partnership with V.O.T.E. Nola and Silence is Violence, Citizens for 1 Greater
New Orleans created a pilot project to formalized a coordinated victim
assistance efforts into the Victim
Allies Project. The Victim Allies Project is dedicated to seeking respect
for victims of homicide and their families. Volunteer partners help
victim-survivors navigate the criminal justice process. Through partnerships
with the NOPD, the District Attorney, the Criminal Sheriff, and the Department
of Justice, we hope that VAP will help to heal the relationship between victims
and the system, and ultimately strengthen the ability of the system to provide justice
and comfort to victims. Department of Justice, through HOPE II grant provided
initial support and training material.
New Orleans Children’s Youth and Planning Board (CYPB)
CYPB was appointed in 2009 by the New
Orleans City Council, mandated by state law. By acting for the common good, the
New Orleans Children Youth and Planning Board will ensure that all children,
youth and families are provided opportunities for success. Strategic planning
has been initiated. Plans include efforts to:
a Comprehensive Plan to be submitted to the Children’s Cabinet at the state
level (the Children’s Cabinet determines fiscal needs for services and rolls
that into budget)
for local needs
The vicious cycle of Domestic, Family and Relationship Violence/Abuse effects not only those immediately involved, but also the community as a whole. Violence can escalate and impact others outside the home. Children exposed to violence may perpetuate the cycle in life. Preventative measures, supportive programs, safe environments along with educating children in the community as well as developing enabling tools are necessary to disrupt and end the cycle. Additionally, legislative advocacy to strengthen laws to protect victims and their rights is essential.
Advocacy efforts are promoted to
support city and state legislation that positively impact the effectiveness of
criminal justice reform; including but not limited to juvenile justice areas,
victim rights, and fiscal support of an efficient and transparent criminal
justice system. These efforts are often in coordination with governmental
agencies and nonprofit criminal justice support organizations seeking support
These coordinated activities first
require careful assessment of needs and open communication of desired outcome
measures. Testimony, written statements, and letters of support are primary
advocacy methods utilized.
Orleans City Council Hearings and Committees including Budget and Criminal
State Legislative Sessions (link to Legislative charts from 09 and 10)
at roundtable discussions and appointments to short term Task Forces.
These have included participation with the Department of Justice, Unites
States Louisiana Senators and Representatives, US Attorney General, and