More adult offenders being tracked electronically, but not as many violent youths in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In an effort to combat an ongoing crime wave, the New Orleans Police Department is stepping up efforts to track offenders who are ordered to wear electronic monitoring devices.
More than 300 accused offenders in Orleans Parish are currently court-ordered to wear electronic bracelets and ankle monitors, which track their every move. At any given time, detectives and officers can type in a location to see if a defendant wearing an ankle monitor was near the scene of a crime.
Those who run the program say NOPD officers are relying on it more than they used to under direction from Interim Superintendent Michelle Woodfork.
Though the Metropolitan Crime Commission says it’s too soon to compare 2023 to 2022, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a press conference Wednesday (Jan. 25) that crimes against persons, armed robberies, and carjackings are down by double digits.
Matt Dennis, who runs the city’s busiest monitoring program, says there are more adult inmates than ever being electronically monitored outside of court, but due to failures in the juvenile justice system, only a fraction of violent youths are tracked.
“They want me to turn my head because I would expose their flaws,” said Dennis, with the Assured Supervision Accountability Program.
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Councilmember Oliver Thomas, who was just appointed to the mayor’s crime task force, says transparency in the juvenile justice system is a problem he hopes to address.
“If we don’t stop that juvenile from robbing or hurting the next victim, then we don’t save their life. Then it’s compounded,” said Thomas.
Mayor Cantrell says her 16-member crime task force has yielded results when it comes to tackling abandoned vehicles, and street lighting. She says it’s now working to implement an anti-crime strategy, with a focus on schools.
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