It’s finally happening! The Municipal Bail Reform Ordinance that OPPRC has been advocating for for over a year will finally be heard by City Council! The ordinance would eliminate financial bail and pre-trial detention for most municipal charges, and reduce the number of people unnecessarily incarcerated at OPP.
The hearing will take place on Monday, 9/19 at 11:30 AM in Council Chambers (1300 Perdido Street). We will be having a rally and press conference at 11 AM. (Please note the time change!) Wear orange to show your opposition to locking up the poor!
If you can’t attend the hearing, please sign this declaration of support, and contact your City Council Representative (contact information below). Below is a sample call/email script:
Hello, my name is ________ and I am a resident and voter in District __________.
I am [calling/writing] in support of OPPRC’s municipal bail reform ordinance. I am concerned that too many people charged with low-level offenses are sitting in jail awaiting trial because they are too poor to pay their bond. Some will never be charged with a crime, some charged will not be convicted, and of those convicted, many will not be sentenced to incarceration.
[If you have a personal story you’d like to share, please share it here.]
In addition to increasing the number of people in jail, and in addition to the tax-payer costs associated with incarcerating our community members, pre-trial detention has serious, destabilizing effects on people’s lives. People can lose their jobs, their homes, and their kids, while they await trial for a crime they are, by law, innocent of until they are proven guilty. OPPRC’s ordinance is an important first step in de-criminalizing the poor and making our community safer, and I hope you support it.
City Council Contact
District A: Susan Guidry (Chair of Criminal Justice subcommittee): 658-1010 firstname.lastname@example.org
District B: LaToya Cantrell: 658-1020 email@example.com
District C: Nadine Ramsey: 658-1030 firstname.lastname@example.org
District D: Jared C. Brossett: 658-1040 email@example.com
District E: James Gray: 658-1050 firstname.lastname@example.org