Data News Staff Edited Report
NEW ORLEANS – Congressman Troy Carter joined District Attorney Jason Williams, Louisiana State Representative Royce Duplessis and several advocates and stakeholders to announce more than $2.3 million in Federal Grant Funding from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
Awarded specifically to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Civil Rights Division (CRD), these funds will be used both to advance these leaders’ shared goal of increasing safety and delivering justice for the people of New Orleans. These grants, among other actions, will allow the District Attorney’s office to increase DNA testing and cold case investigations in order to identify the correct violent perpetrators and restore trust in the Criminal Legal System.
Managed by the BJA, the four grants were awarded by four funding programs including
1.) Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence,
2.) Emmett Till Cold Case Investigations and Training and Technical Assistance,
3.) Innovations in Reentry Initiative: Building System Capacity & Testing Strategies to Reduce Recidivism and
4.) Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions Site-Based and Training and Technical Assistance.
Congressman Troy A. Carter Sr. spoke at the press conference and shared the following statement:
“I am proud to have played a role in securing over $2.3 million in federal grants for New Orleans that will help us achieve our goals of building safer communities, advancing justice, and holding wrongdoers accountable within our Criminal Justice System.
“These grants will advance the District Attorney’s office’s ability to protect the public and deliver justice by increasing DNA testing, reviving cold case investigations and more.
“When crimes go unsolved, and innocent people are put in prison, people lose faith in the Criminal Justice System and criminals believe they can act with impunity. We cannot let this stand.
“That’s why I am proud to have assisted in providing resources to assist in clearing our DNA testing backlog, investigate cold cases and prevent wrongful convictions.
“Alongside programs to reduce recidivism, these resources will expand law enforcement’s capacity, stretch taxpayer dollars, and will protect the community while ensuring the justice system is truly providing justice.
“I am also so proud that these grants will aid people as they re-enter society after incarcerated having served their sentence.
“I would like to thank Chad Sanders for being here on behalf of the First 72, an organization that does such great work ensuring the formally incarcerated not only don’t reoffend but become successful members of society.
“One of these grants will create a task force that will be responsible for reentrants who have been released as a result of the efforts by the Civil Rights Division.
“Those who have spent longer times incarcerated may need enhanced services to address specific needs – this task force will tackle those issues and help reduce recidivism, bring workers back into the economy, and save taxpayer dollars.
“From both moral and policy perspectives, helping people find jobs, re-join communities, and avoid recidivism, is the right thing to do.
“I am proud to have advocated with the Biden Administration for these grants and grateful that they have been awarded to New Orleans.
“I know public safety is at the top of mind for the people of this great city and of the Second Congressional District, and it’s my number one issue as well.
“I will continue to partner with local, state and federal officials to help bring resources and supports to Southeast Louisiana and will continue to support policies that both improve public safety and continue to infuse greater justice into our judicial systems.
“Thank you, DA Williams, State Rep. Duplessis, Chief Maw, Andrew Hudley, Chad Sanders, and all of the other officials, government staff and advocates, for all that you do to make our communities safer and more just.
“I look forward to doing all I can at the federal level to support your critical on-the-groundwork.”