Also highlights key strategic investments needed by DA’s Office to surge back against violent crime
NEW ORLEANS – Today, District Attorney Jason Williams provided updates on the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office’s (OPDA) mission to increase safety and deliver justice in neighborhoods throughout New Orleans. Additionally, DA Williams highlighted the need for strategic investments to the DA’s Office to surge back against violent crime and secure justice for victims and survivors.
“Since I took office just over a year and a half ago, I have been extremely clear about my laser focus as Orleans Parish District Attorney: holding violent offenders accountable, and doing so fairly and constitutionally,” said District Attorney Jason Williams. I cannot emphasize this enough: my commitment, and my office’s commitment, to all of this work is unwavering – we will continue to fight vigorously for our city, and especially the victims and survivors that rely on us.”
OBTAINING GUILTY VERDICTS IN COURT
DA Williams and the entire OPDA team have been working tirelessly to hold violent offenders accountable in court. Since the courts fully resumed jury trials in March 2022, the DA’s Office has tried over 40 cases in front of a jury. This compares to just over 50 cases tried in all of 2018 and just under 50 cases tried in all of 2019, the final two years of jury trials before the pandemic.
STEMMING JUVENILE VIOLENCE WITH TRUANCY ENFORCEMENT
The DA’s Office recognized early on the connection between the pandemic, truancy, and juvenile violence in our city, and has been working post-pandemic to identify tangible ways to get our young people back into school and away from the criminal legal system. While this is truly a group lift, the DA’s Office has committed to enforce chronic truancy violations where necessary to make sure our young people are not left behind.
While we are proud to be delivering for the people of this city, OPDA could do so much more with more strategic investment from the City. In order to fully realize the potential of the DA’s Office and continue to build on our jury trial results, we need an immediate, significant influx of resources. These resources include:
- 6 ADDITIONAL PROSECUTORS IN OUR SCREENING AND TRIALS DIVISIONS
- 2 ADDITIONAL PROSECUTORS IN OUR VIOLENT CRIMES UNIT
- 2 ADDITIONAL PROSECUTORS IN OUR JUVENILE DIVISION
- A COLD CASE UNIT WITH 2 DETECTIVES
- 1 ATTORNEY AND 2 INVESTIGATORS AT THE REAL-TIME CRIME CENTER
- INCREASED DNA TESTING AND COORDINATION
- CLOUD-BASED TECHNOLOGY UPGRADES
- VICTIM/WITNESS EXPENSES
- SECURITY AT THE SOUTH WHITE STREET ENTRANCE OF THE COURTHOUSE
The DA’s Office will not be deterred from our mission of increasing safety and delivering justice in New Orleans, and looks forward to securing these appropriations so that we can continue to build the best prosecutor’s office in the country.