The Vera Institute of Justice, a notable NPPJ member, issued a new report “Paid in Full: A Plan to End Money Injustice in New Orleans” last month showing that cash bail and conviction fees don’t make communities safer, and only end up harming low-income people and Black families. The report includes a roadmap to ending cash bail, which has served as a springboard for immediate action in New Orleans.
This week, the Vera Institute of Justice along with the ACLU Louisiana, the Foundation for Louisiana and Stand With Dignity, presented a proposal to the New Orleans City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee.
City Council members on the committee were largely supportive of the presentation.
“I think that New Orleans can be the leader in this if we get our ducks in a row and move as expeditiously as we know we need to,” said Councilman Jason Williams, who is planning a run for district attorney in 2020.
Jon Wool, the Director of justice policy at the Vera Institute’s New Orleans office and a co-author of “Paid in Full,” expressed optimism.
“We’re feeling good, like we’ve got a council that is interested in hearing and matching the urgency of the matter,” he said.
Coordinated efforts like this show that evidence-based research and advocacy at the local level are critical in the fight for bail reform in the United States.