OPPRC’s Municipal Bail Reform Ordinance Introduced

Councilmember Guidry has introduced an ordinance that would eliminate money bail and pretrial detention for most municipal offenses. The ordinance, which was first proposed by the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition (OPPRC), will be heard at the next Criminal Justice Committee meeting which is scheduled for Monday, September 19th, at 11:30 AM.

Under the ordinance, most people arrested for municipal offenses would be released on their own recognizance (ROR) and given a date to return to court. Exceptions to this ordinance include people charged with domestic violence, battery, and illegal carrying of weapons. In those cases, defendants will have a first appearances hearing within 24 hours of arrest, in which a judge must prove that a defendant is a flight or public safety risk in order to impose only the least-restrictive non-financial release conditions which in no case will exceed a $2500 bond. Without proving those two things, those defendants, too, will be given an ROR.

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