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    Date submitted
  • 12-Dec-2011

Justice & Accountability Center, La

Abstract

The Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana tackles deficiencies in the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice system while creating a supportive collaborative space for attorneys and advocates.

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What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

The Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana (JAC) responds to the needs of incarcerated and ex-incarcerated populations in Louisiana, who are marginalized by both social stigma and the difficulty of communicating outside of prison walls, while changing the way lawyers provide services to these individuals. Louisiana currently incarcerates more people than any other state in the country. African American men are incarcerated with more frequency than any other racial group. For example, in 2009, “Black non-Hispanic males had an imprisonment rate (3,119 per 100,000 U.S. residents) that was more than 6 times higher than white non- Hispanic males (487 per 100,000), and almost 3 times higher than Hispanic males (1,193 per 100,000).” In Louisiana, 1 out of 55 residents are incarcerated. At JAC we believe this problem is attributable to serious deficiencies in the criminal justice system. The current institutional structures that provide legal services to this population do not provide meaningful results for long lasting change. These issues are systemic and pervasive, and must be attacked through an aggressive multi-faceted approach to reform.