NEW ORLEANS – Today, District Attorney Jason Williams released “The People’s Report,” a review of achievements from his first year at the helm of the Orleans Parish DA’s Office (“OPDA”) in the areas of (1) increasing safety, (2) delivering justice, (3) investing in our youth, (4) increasing victim/witness and diversion supports, (5) rebuilding public trust/transparency, and (6) building a 21st century prosecutor’s office.
In 2021, OPDA has prioritized collaboration with law enforcement and community partners to properly and successfully prosecute violent crimes, divert mental health and substance abuse cases to treatment, and enhance public trust and cooperation in investigations by resolving wrongful convictions and increasing transparency.
“The People’s Report” highlights results delivered to the community by DA’s Office in six priority areas
“I promised my fellow New Orleanians when running for District Attorney that I would transform the DA’s Office, from one that solely sought high conviction rates and sentence lengths – without regard to their actual impact on public safety – to one that instead sought to make our neighborhoods truly safer and the criminal legal system more just,” said District Attorney Jason Williams. “I’m proud to have kept that promise in my first year in office.”
Under the Williams Administration, OPDA has produced on-the-ground, community-centered achievements such as:
- Obtained 58 grand jury indictments for violent crimes committed in New Orleans
- Vacated the excessive sentences of nearly 100 people who had served more than 20 years of life or life equivalent sentences, saving the State at least $5 million a year in Department of Corrections incarceration costs
- Issued salary increase of lowest-paid Assistant District Attorneys
- Secured guilty pleas in over 1,700 cases, with 3,000 charges resulting in guilty pleas as part of these case
- Brought 86 people home to their families from prison, including 49 people who were sentenced to life without parole
- Settled three years of litigation against former DA’s Office administrations for prosecutorial misconduct, saving taxpayers millions in financial exposure and legal fees
- Doubled the size of our Victim/Witness services staff, including placing our office’s first ever Victim/Witness Advocate in the Juvenile Division
- Launched Restorative Justice Diversion Program
- Launched Cold Case Unit and secured indictment and arrest for 2016 homicide, obtained in part by new unit
- Signed a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City of New Orleans and New Orleans Public Library System to open DA Satellite Offices in low-income neighborhoods in 2022
- Launched a brand new website (www.orleansda.com), which includes the first of many public data dashboards
- Participated in quarterly People’s DA Coalition forums
Having laid this foundation in 2021, DA Williams looks forward to building on it in the year ahead in order to continue to increase safety and deliver justice in New Orleans.