Silence Is Violence

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Good News from OPPRC

Date: Sat, Feb. 19, 2011

Dear OPPRC Members and Supporters: On February 3, 2011 we filled the New Orleans City Council Chamber to witness the Council’s vote on an ordinance that limits the capacity of the new Orleans Parish Prison to 1,438 beds and calls for the decommissioning and demolition of the old facilities. The Council passed the ordinance by a vote of 7-0. After the milestone vote, a standing ovation from the spectators in attendance underscored the extraordinary nature of the process. As you know, this exceptional civic effort began in July of 2010. More than anything, it was your advocacy and support that compelled the Council to vote for a smaller jail and positively influence the city’s future criminal justice policy. Thank you for speaking out in support of a smaller jail and for helping to make this remarkable outcome possible. Although the passage of this ordinance represents a great victory, we must continue our efforts if we are to make New Orleans’ criminal justice system one that is truly fair and effective. The policies and practices of our police, prosecutor, courts, indigent defense and, of course, our jail are in dire need of reform. Funds which would have been dedicated to building and maintaining a bigger jail must be reallocated to building the infrastructure of a caring community, including recreational, educational, mental health, and affordable housing facilities. We will be calling on you for your participation and support as the effort to bring these much needed changes continues. In appreciation, The Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition