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Dear friends and colleagues, 

The tragedies caused by New Orleans’ levee failures gave rise to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that community and government leaders are seizing to change course on incarceration.

Before Katrina, New Orleans incarcerated more people in its local jail than any city in the country by far. That’s no longer true. The city has committed to a jail of no more than 1,438 beds—a dramatic improvement over the massive pre-storm jail.

Today, The Data Center is releasing the first in a series of reports we are calling The New Orleans Index at Ten Collection, highlighting changes post-Katrina. The first report, Criminal Justice: Changing Course on Incarceration is contributed by Retired Judge Calvin Johnson, and Mathilde Laisne and Jon Wool of the Vera Institute of Justice. 

Beyond the fiscally sound aspect of the jail developments, confronting incarceration practices is critical to building a criminal justice system capable of delivering just and fair results.

Nationwide, the disparate impact of policing and incarceration practices on communities of color is front and center. Changing Course on Incarceration documents New Orleans’ efforts toward promoting opportunities, not destabilizing lives. The report also explores the road ahead to fundamentally and sustainably change course on local incarceration.

To learn more, check out The New Orleans Index at Ten Collection - Criminal Justice: Changing Course on Incarceration at:
Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,

The Data Center team 
Allison Plyer, Nihal Shrinath, Rebecca Osakwe, Whitney Soenksenand Vicki Mack

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