Officials in the New Orleans Police Department’s 8th District are working with the city’s Health Department to connect low-level, non-violent offenders with social services as an alternative to incarceration.
The district began piloting on Wednesday (Nov. 29) a new pre-booking deflection program called LEAD, or Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. The Vera Institute of Justice is a national social justice group that worked with the health department, the police department and the Criminal Justice Council to develop the program over the past two and a half years.
The Vera Institute successfully implemented similar programs in Seattle, Washington and Albany, New York, according to Corinna Yazbek, senior associate of strategic partners for the group. LEAD is funded by grants from the McArthur Safety and Justice Challenge and the United States Department of Justice.
To read the rest of the program details, click here.
See what CSI was up to at the NC Reentry Summit on March 11. View the Video
Communicating Effectively With Your Legislator
Don’t be intimidated. Legislators are in the business of representing the public’s interest. A significant part of their job is listening to people like you.
Ask to speak briefly with the legislator. If the legislator is not in his or her office, ask for their contact information and leave the Second Chance Alliance Action Request with the secretary.
Address the legislators as “Representative ____” or “Senator _____.”
Introduce yourself clearly. Tell the legislator your name, where you are from, and why you are there. If you are a member of their district, it is especially important for you to let them know.
Share your reentry story and/or support for second chances. This is the most important thing you can do on Second Chance Lobby Day. In just 2 or 3 minutes, describe the barriers that you have faced as a result of your criminal record, why the legislator should try to address these barriers, and how you would use (or have used) your second chance. If you do not have a criminal record, please describe why you support lowering barriers to reentry.
Be specific. Suggest actions the legislator might take, including specific bills he or she should support. Use the Second Chance Alliance Action Request as a guide.
Listen, and always be respectful. Listen to what the legislator has to say, even if you do not agree with what he or she is saying. You can state facts or personal stories to support your opinion, but try to avoid arguing with the legislator.
Share Action Request. Be sure to leave the legislator with a copy of the Second Chance Alliance Action Request.