Congressman Troy Carter on Monday (Feb. 14) joined District Attorney Williams to announce more than $2.3 million in federal grant funding from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

“I am proud to have played a role in securing over $2.3 million in federal grants for New Orleans that will help us achieve our goals of building safer communities, advancing justice, and holding wrongdoers accountable within our criminal justice system,” Carter said. “These grants will advance the District Attorney’s office’s ability to protect the public and deliver justice by increasing DNA testing, reviving cold case investigations and more.  “I am also so proud that these grants will aid people as they re-enter society after incarceration having served their sentence.”

Managed by the Bureau of Justice, the grants were awarded from four different funding programs. A breakdown of the grants is as follows:

Post Conviction DNA Testing of Evidence Program: Totaling $574,636, the Orleans Parish DA’s Office received a three-year grant from Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence program to support the office’s work around DNA testing in postconviction review of violent felony offenses and ascertaining accurate evidence to secure the correct conviction.

Emmitt Till Cold Case Investigations and Training and Technical Assistance: Totaling $500,000, OPDA received a three-year grant from the Emmett Till Cold Case Investigations And Training And Technical Assistance program to launch and implement the Undoing Jim Crow Cold Cases Initiative. The funds will assist the DA’s office in efforts to review, investigate and prosecute unsolved homicide cold case murders, occurring before 1980 and suspected of having been racially motivated, while also providing support for victims’ families and stakeholders impacted by these cases.

Upholding the Rule of Law and Preventing Wrongful Convictions Site-Based and Training and Technical Assistance: Totaling $300,000, OPDA received a two-year grant from the Upholding The Rule Of Law And Preventing Wrongful Convictions Site Based And Training And Technical Assistance program. S

Innovations in Reentry Initiative/Building System Capacity & Testing Strategies to Reduce Recidivism: Totaling $1 million, the OPDA received a four-year grant from the BJA’s Innovations In Reentry Initiative: Building System Capacity & Testing Strategies To Reduce Recidivism program. In partnership with the First 72+ and the Louisiana Parole Project, this grant will support the convening of a task force that will be responsible for reentrants who have been released as a result of the work of the CRD. This grant is expected to serve a population of reentrants who have typically spent more time incarcerated than the average reentry client and will be in need of enhanced services to address specific needs.

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