If you are arrested… you are innocent until proven guilty. And, if you can show you are not a flight risk or a risk to be re-arrested, you shouldn’t have to wait in jail till the trial.
AUDIO: Angela talks about pre-trial services in Orleans Parish
But in Orleans Parish, what often dictates whether you stay in jail till you go to court is money. Do you have the money to bond out? History shows poor people and people who aren’t financially liquid and don’t have available funds often sit in jail waiting for a dismissal, or plead guilty often to a minor charge.
It costs taxpayers a lot to keep them in jail, when they could be home or at work while waiting for the wheels of justice to roll on.
The effort to change this has been in the works for almost two years. It’s called pretrial services.
It’s working. It’s saving taxpayers and it’s the right thing to do.
No one who is not a risk should be languishing in jail just because they don’t have the money to get out.
If you missed our show, don’t miss useful information and a fascinating discussion in our podcasts. Our guests: Calvin Johnson, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Human Services District & retired Orleans parish Criminal District Court judge; Jon Wool, Director of the Vera Institute of Justice in New Orleans, Luceia LeDoux, VP Public Safety & Governmental Oversight Grants for the Baptist Community Ministries; and Pres Kabacoff, Developer and vocal supporter of New Orleans Pretrial services.