Thursday, 23 September 2010 20:46

New Orleans Landrieu Creates Criminal Justice Working Group

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NEW ORLEANS, LAYesterday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an executive order establishing a Criminal Justice Working Group - an official Mayoral Advisory Committee - which is tasked with reviewing plans and information relating to the size of the Orleans Parish Prison complex. The working group will ultimately provide a written recommendation and report to the Mayor by November 22, 2010.

“Orleans Parish Prison is of utmost importance to the aggressive criminal justice reforms we are implementing today in New Orleans,” said Mayor Landrieu.  “Sheriff Gusman and his deputies require a modern prison facility in order to deliver lawful and appropriate housing for inmates.  This group of experts, with the continued support of the Department of Justice, will help us determine the optimal size for a new prison complex. It will be an open and transparent process.”


The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) - the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice - will work through the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center to complete a prison bed breakdown study.  Leading the study will be Dr. James Austin, one of the foremost prison experts in the country.  Their analysis will provide various models using inmate data that will allow stakeholders to arrive at a data-driven conclusion for the determination of the size of the jail. NIJ and the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation will split the cost of the study.


The executive order, Mayor Landrieu’s sixth since taking office in May, charges the group to:


  • Review the National Institute of Justice report that will provide technical observations and recommendations based on a review of documentation relative to initial offender capacity and a site-visit to the existing Orleans Parish Prison complex.
  • Review plans developed by Sheriff Gusman for the Orleans Parish Prison complex.
  • Review information about national best practices for criminal justice and recommendations that other organizations may submit to the Working Group.
  • Hold two public hearings for the community to express its opinion about the appropriate size and the factors that should be considered.
  • Make final recommendations to the Mayor regarding the optimal size of the prison.


  • Provide the rationale for its recommendation concerning the size of the prison with evidence that is based on national best-practices and that provides guidance for definitive and reasonable policy changes concerning  pertinent aspects of the criminal justice system

The Criminal Justice Working Group on the Orleans Parish Prison complex will include the following individuals:

  • Deputy Mayor & CAO Andy Kopplin, Chair
  • Deputy Mayor for Facilities, Infrastructure & Community Development Cedric Grant
  • Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Jerry Sneed
  • City Attorney Nannette Jolivette-Brown
  • Sheriff Marlin Gusman
  • Superintendant of Police Ronal Serpas
  • District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro
  • Chief Judge Paul Sens, New Orleans Municipal Court
  • Chief Judge Julian Parker, New Orleans Criminal District Court
  • Deputy Chief Judge Terry Alarcon, New Orleans Criminal District Court
  • Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson, New Orleans Criminal District Court
  • Chief Judge Dennis Dannel, New Orleans Traffic Court
  • Councilmember Jackie Clarkson, co-chair, City Council Criminal Justice Committee
  • Councilmember Susan Guidry, co-chair, City Council Criminal Justice Committee
  • Councilmember Stacy Head, District B
  • Derwyn Bunton, Orleans Parish Public Defender
  • Pastor Antione Barriere, Household of Faith
  • Calvin Johnson, Metropolitan Human Services District
  • Nolan Rollins, Urban League of New Orleans
  • Rafael Goyeneche, Metropolitan Crime Commission
  • Flozell Daniels, Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
  • Dr. Michael Cowan, Common Good
  • Lucas Dias, Puentes New Orleans


“We intend to work diligently to make a data-based, informed recommendation to the Mayor,” said Andy Kopplin, Deputy Mayor & CAO, who will serve as Chair of the Working Group.

(Mayor Landrieu press release)

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