MAKING OUR STREETS SAFER
Crime is one of the greatest threats to our city’s bright future. As Chair of the Council’s Criminal Justice Committee, Guidry has made it a top priority to analyze and reform the city’s entire Criminal Justice system. She is also active in the fight against blight, because by removing blighted homes, we’re removing areas where criminal activity is likely to take place. In just over three years, she has made significant improvements to strengthen the fight on crime.
Susan believes that as a City, we must use every tax dollar in the criminal justice system effectively, with programming that positively redirects minor criminal behavior, because we cannot incarcerate our way to becoming a safer community.
Susan sponsored legislation that frees criminal courts of time consuming non-violent crimes (such as first time marijuana possession and prostitution) without diminishing sentences. The pretrial services program can aid judges in determining which pretrial defendants should remain in prison awaiting trial, while in turn decreasing the number of detainees awaiting trial in jail at the city’s expense.
She also began holding annual hearings on each law enforcement agency’s budget requests to ensure that tax dollars are not being wasted or misdirected.
Councilmember Guidry presided over many other public hearings to address:
- Recruitment and retention of NOPD officers
- The New Orleans Pretrial Services program
- Mayor Landrieu’s NOLA for Life murder-reduction strategy
- Operational and structural inefficiencies in the Traffic Court as identified by the New Orleans Inspector General
- The number of potentially-excess judgeships in New Orleans as identified by the Judicial Council of the Louisiana Supreme Court
- State cuts to LSU Hospital System’s budget for mental health and substance abuse services
- Marginalization and criminalization of the LGBTQ community
- Orleans Parish Information Sharing and Integrated Systems (OPISIS) network for the New Orleans criminal justice system
- Improving NOPD-Mardi Gras Indians relations
- Existing jail conditions
- New jail construction
In addition to the hearings she presides over, Susan is an active participant in numerous criminal justice working groups:
- Orleans Justice and Rehabilitation Reform Commission
- Mayor’s Criminal Justice Working Group re: new jail construction
- LA Office of Juvenile Justice, Community Liaison Council
- New Orleans Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
- Independent Police Monitor’s Police Mediation Project Advisory Committee
- Greater New Orleans Drug Demand Reduction Coalition
- Municipal Court Behavioral Health Task Force
- Vera Institute Working Group on Pre-Trial services and Municipal Court Reform
Knowing we can’t fight crime without adequate resources, Susan works tirelessly to support our criminal justice departments. She continues to press the issue of the insufficient number of police officers on the NOPD and strives to strengthen recruitment and retention of officers. In her most recent attempt to assist NOPD recruitment, Susan and Council President Jackie Clarkson authored an ordinance that would suspend the City’s “domicile rule,” which requires that all New Orleans municipal employees (NOPD, NOFD, and EMS) reside in Orleans Parish, through the end of 2014.
Susan has secured additional funding for numerous criminal justice entities, including:
- Orleans Public Defender’s Office
- Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office
- NOLA for Life
- New Orleans Pretrial Services
Longer range solutions that build hope in our young people are harder to measure, but Susan is dedicated to creating opportunities for our youth to live happy, health, productive lives.
In November of 2013, Guidry was recognized by the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana for her leadership in advocating for a fair and effective criminal justice system and advancing system reform.
- Leading Council review and allocation of funding for NOPD and OPP federal consent decrees
- Spearheading passage of ordinances allowing prosecution of certain misdemeanors in Municipal court rather than Criminal District Court, thus allowing dedication of additional funds and resources to apprehension and prosecution of violent offenders
- Advocating for the reduction of unnecessary judgeships and staff
- Fighting to end Courts’ practice of spending money outside public appropriation process
- Working to end per diem jail funding
- Pushing the creation of an online application for NOPD officer recruitment
- Sponsored resolution urging Sheriff to stop all Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds
- Introduced legislation to:
- Exempt first responders from City Domicile Ordinance
- Require Council oversight of use of Municipal and Traffic Court’s Judicial Expense Funds
- Terminate the Municipal Court and Traffic Court Maintenance Fund
- Authorize appeals of traffic camera tickets to Traffic Court
- Authored resolutions calling for special elections for four security districts
- Lake Vista Crime Prevention District
- Mid-City Security District
- Upper Audubon Security District
- Hurstville Security and Neighborhood Improvement District
- Facilitated purchase and installation of over 50 crime cameras in Hollygrove and Leonidas
- Authorized CEA with Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections to create forensic science partnership to hire and train 3 NOPD DNA analysts
- Participated in Tulane Law School’s criminal justice funding panel in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright’s affirmation of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel
- Participated in Sequential Intercept Mapping seminar examining overlap between New Orleans mental health and criminal justice systems and designing mental health treatment access strategies and alternatives to incarceration for those suffering from mental health issues.
- Honored by Orleans Public Defender’s Office for commitment to fairness in the administration of justice and support of 6th Amendment right to counsel
- Honored by the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana for advocating for a fair and effective criminal justice system and advancing system reform
The City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee coordinates the systemic reform of all components of the criminal justice system and long-term reform efforts aimed at the social, economic and educational contributors to criminal behavior, receives regular reports from heads of criminal justice agencies, and collaborates with the City Council Budget Committee regarding funding of criminal justice reform efforts.