Mathilde Laisne, Stephen Roberts, Jon Wool

Close to one in five people detained in the New Orleans jail are waiting for a court date to resolve alleged violations of their probation or parole.  Such detention affects more than 2,000 people a year and costs millions of dollars to taxpayers. Vera’s New Orleans office analyzed data from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections to scrutinize the appropriateness of detention in these cases.

This issue brief and technical report, developed in partnership with DPS&C, measure the number of affected people, identify areas where detention could have been safely avoided, and recommend concrete practice changes to reduce detention where appropriate. The report provides concrete tools for system actors who make detention decisions and informs ongoing discussions about the size of the New Orleans jail population and the appropriate use of the city’s jail. The Issue Brief distills the report’s analysis and recommendations and places them in a national framework.