JUSTICE & ACCOUNTABILITY CENTER OF LOUISIANA
The Justice & Accountability Center works to eliminate obstacles to opportunity for people harmed by the systemic racism and economic impacts of the criminal legal system through policy advocacy, public education, and legal representation.
The Justice and Accountability Center was founded in 2011 to eliminate obstacles to opportunity for people harmed by the systemic racism and economic impacts of the criminal legal system through policy advocacy, public education, and legal representation. We envision a world without barriers or limits for people with criminal records and their families, where we all can have a fair chance to thrive.
The lack of access for incarcerated populations to appropriate services in the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice system and the lack of support for a positive reentry of people previously incarcerated are contrary to notions of fairness and justice. To these ends, JAC has three goals for supporting a just community.
JUSTICE: Our first and immediate goal is to promote access to justice through legal services and related community education. JAC facilitates a collaborative lawyering program in which teams of attorneys who practice in different fields come together to provide legal services holistically to individuals previously incarcerated. This service increases the likelihood of successful reentry and decreases recidivism rates. JAC’s legal services also ensure that expungements are available on a regular basis to those who have had contact with the criminal justice system. Throughout the year, JAC offers workshops, classes, and events for the general public, attorneys, stakeholders, policy makers, and the media on various criminal justice issues, including expungement, reentry, indigent defense funding and more.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Our second intermediate goal is to promote systemic change that will positively impact the lives of those previously incarcerated. JAC collects data to use for systemic reform through litigation, legislation, and policy advocacy. By tracking trends and highlighting deficiencies, we can provide the first step toward lasting change.
THE CENTER: Our third goal is to create a space for attorneys to come together to holistically serve individuals previously incarcerated. Providing individual attorneys with the opportunity to share resources allows them to do difficult legal work that is in great demand. Through our approach, attorneys share intellectual resources, develop best practices and strategize avenues for meaningful representation.
JAC collaborates alongside many partners to provide legal services, education and advocacy. Our partners have included the Orleans Public Defenders’ Office, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office, STRIVE, VOTE-NOLA, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Legal Innovators for Tomorrow (LIFT), Operation Restoration, the First 72+ and more. To learn more, get involved, or donate, contact us by phone at (504) 322-4050 or email at info@JACLouisiana.org.