Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Message from Change.Org

Last November, hundreds of New Orleans ColorOfChange members helped stall plans to build a monstrous 5,800-bed prison that would have sucked up city resources and increased incarceration rates.

Thanks in part to these efforts, the Council will vote this Thursday on a proposal to cap the new Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) at 1438 beds — building a smaller jail and saving money for the good of the public.

This is a critical chance to help rebuild a New Orleans that truly reflects the community's needs, but some members of the Council still haven't committed to support the smaller prison. Please ask them to stand with the thousands of New Orleanians who are demanding a better future. And when you do, ask your friends and family to add their voices as well — it only takes a moment:


The cap is critical to stopping an effort, led by Sheriff Marlin Gusman, to give New Orleans the nation's largest jail relative to the size of the local population.
Cities and counties across the country (including Jefferson and other nearby parishes) have reduced their jail populations using well-tested alternative policies and programs. These initiatives increase public safety, reduce costs and don’t rely on increasing the number of people locked up. Because Orleans Parish Prison is funded according to the number of prisoners it houses, a larger prison would only boost the incentive to arrest more people and mismanage public safety resources.

A smaller prison will be less expensive to run, and the money saved can be reinvested into city services, schools and other necessary public infrastructure. Please join us in asking the City Council to do the right thing.

There’s one more way you can help — attend and speak out at the Feb. 3 City Council meeting. If enough of us attend, it will show that the Council has the public support to chart a new course for New Orleans. Please RSVP your attendance to opphearing@colorofchange.org and let us know how many people you will be bringing with you.

Here are the details:
WHAT: City Council Meeting and Vote to Cap the OPP Jail Size
WHEN: Thursday, February 3rd, 3pm
WHERE: City Council Chambers, 1300 Peridido Street

Please attend, and let your voice be heard. If you have specific questions about this event, please reach out to our partners at the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. You can email them at contact@jjpl.org, or leave them a voice message at 504-894-8099.
Thanks and Peace.