If you spend much time (like I do) looking at the types of offenses most people are arrested and taken to Orleans Parish Prison for on an average night, you will notice one thing above all others – most of them probably shouldn’t be in jail.
A recent story in the Times Picayune tells the story in stark, statistical terms. In 2009, of the nearly 60,000 arrests by NOPD, less than 8,000 (13.2%) were for felony offenses, leaving the vast majority (86.8%) divided between misdemeanor and traffic offenses.
For a city with the crime problems we have, these are very discouraging statistics. The NOPD needs to be arresting people for serious felony violations, and issuing summons in most misdemeanor and traffic matters. While it is good for my business to help my clients clean up the mess the NOPD makes of their lives by arresting them for minor violations, it doesn’t really makes sense in the grand scheme of things.