New Orleans Criminal Justice

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) – An independent study commissioned by the city to scrutinize its embattled criminal justice system found “highly fragmented” and low-tech coordination among the dozen agencies under the public safety umbrella.

The work was released this past week by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The report says Criminal District Court was severely hampered by Hurricane Katrina, which closed the court building and displaced defendants, witnesses and victims.

“In a world of Microsoft Outlook, the New Orleans criminal justice system is functioning in a bygone era,” the report notes of the court system's reliance on hard-copy calendars and handwritten summonses.

The antiquated organization system, the report says, creates poor communication between agencies and scheduling conflicts that bog down the entire system.

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