Last February, New Orleans' ColorOfChange members, in partnership with the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana and the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition, secured a monumental victory for the city's future when the City Council voted unanimously to stop the construction of an outrageous 5,800-bed prison and cap the size of Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) at 1438 beds. This marked a major step in reforming New Orleans' criminal justice system. A critical component to maintaining this progress depends on ending the per diem funding system--a policy that pays the Sheriff to lock up more residents for more days.
Like cities across the country, New Orleans is facing a fiscal crisis, with valuable social services and programs for youth and families the most threatened by impending budget cuts. Yet, the criminal justice system makes up 61% of the city's general fund in the proposed 2012 budget while services for children and families are just 3%.
Click to read the original email we sent to members about this campaign.