On Monday, July 17th, the Orleans Parish Sheriff Office named Virginia B. Ryan, Justice System Administrator for the Office. Ryan begins serving on July 17, 2017.
Before the appointment, Ryan formerly worked at the Orleans Public Defender Office serving as Deputy Supervisor for the officer. In that position she recruited, trained, and supervised client advocates. Ryan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Loyola University, New Orleans.
“We’re pleased to have someone with Virginia’s experience join our team,” said Gary Maynard, Compliance Director for the OPSO. “She has a strong working relationship with our Criminal Justice Partners, so we anticipate that she will have an immediate impact on our ability to navigate cases through the Criminal Justice System more efficiently and more equitably.”
As Justice System Administrator, in addition to reporting to the Compliance Director, Ryan will identify detainees that qualify for release, finding housing for detainees that cannot be accommodated by OPSO, facilitate court matters that have been delayed.
The installation of this new position is a part of the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge Grant. This past April, the Foundation awarded the City of New Orleans $1.5 million to reduce the jail population by 21 percent by mid-2019. The Foundation also plans for the City to reduce disparities in between New Orleans.
“Since 2010, we have reduced the jail population by more than 50 percent,” said Calvin Johnson, the City of New Orleans Criminal Justice Commissioner. “Through the Safety and Justice Challenge, we’ve set a goal to reduce the jail population by 21 percent by mid-2019. Bringing on a Justice System Administrator is another critical step toward right-sizing New Orleans’ jail population.”
“For too long, we have seen lower risk defendants remain in jail on bond they cannot afford, and cases get delayed because of the complexity of the system. Ryan brings dedication and significant experience to a role that will help us reverse our long history of over-detention,” he added.