The Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition (OPPRC), an umbrella advocacy group, will be holding a community forum tonight at the Mahalia Jackson Center in Central City (2405 Jackson Ave.), at which citizens will be able to express their concerns about conditions at Orleans Parish Prison. Regina Jansen, a representative of the U.S. Justice Department, will be in attendance, but co-organizer Rosana Cruz says she isn't aware of anyone representing OPP attending the meeting.
"I don’t believe OPP is sending anyone. They were not in contact with us about this," says Cruz, the associate director of V.O.T.E., one of the groups affiliated with OPPRC. "Our audience is the DOJ and the broader community. We certainly hope that the Sheriff [Marlin Gusman] will be moved to action and change the deplorable conditions in the jail. Barring that, the DOJ can legally force the necessary changes to happen."
Who is OPPRC? The group's website says the membership consists of "concerned organizations and individuals from diverse political, economic, and cultural backgrounds." In an email, Cruz didn't provide any more specifics. "There are civic, cultural and community groups as well as individuals with very diverse professions," she wrote, "judges, musicians, medical care professionals, attorneys, artists, clergy, academics and of course, formerly incarcerated people and others from communities most impacted by the criminal justice system." A comprehensive list will be made available at tonight's meeting, she added. (EDITED TO ADD: OPPRC's Alison McCrary supplied Gambit with a copy of the list; it's under the jump below.)
The meeting will be webcast live at The Lens beginning at 6 pm.
Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition
ACLU of Louisiana
A non-profit member organization that advocates for legislative protections of our civil liberties.
Anti-Racism Working Group
A group that supports rebuilding and organizing efforts by internalizing and institutionalizing principles of anti-racist organizing.
BreakOUT! builds the power of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth most impacted by the criminal justice system to affect concrete policy change regarding the criminalization of LGBTQ youth in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A minority community-based non-profit organization that organizes to fight against AIDS as they work to reduce the spread of HIV among minority and underserved populations in Orleans Parish.
Catholic Worker House of New Orleans
An intentional faith-based community that serves the poor and homeless.
Coastal Women for Change
A non-profit organization that organizes women in the gulf coast region to advocate for revitalization of neighborhoods.
An organization of people of European descent who are a visible force in the creation of a multiracial network of people intent on building working relationships between the white community and the communities of color in the struggle for a just society.
Families & Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children
A statewide membership-based organization that fights for a better life for all of Louisiana’s youth, especially those involved in or targeted by the juvenile justice system.
A faith-based organization which serves to alleviate suffering in the community by being a living representation of the gospel, a visable sign of Christian community; to manifest the human concern of Jesus for all people; to live and work with the poor; to foster dignity and worth in those with whom we live and work; and to help create a society in which truth and justice abide.
Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies
An organization that aims to improve the physical, mental, and spiritual health and quality of life for women of color and their families, especially those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.
Jesuit Social Research Institute
The Jesuit Social Research Institute works to transform the Gulf South through action research, analysis, education, and advocacy on the core issues of poverty, race, and migration. The Institute is a collaboration of Loyola University New Orleans and the Society of Jesus rooted in the faith that does justice.
Just Faith Social Justice Group of St. Joseph Catholic Church
A faith-based group that studies current issues of social justice, prays, and acts on the issues.
Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana
An legal non-profit that advocates to transform the juvenile justice system into one that builds on the strengths of young people, families and communities to ensure children are given the greatest opportunities to grow and thrive.
Mennonite Central Committee New Orleans
A relief, service, community development and peace agency.
National Lawyers Guild- Louisiana Chapter
The Louisiana Chapter of the national non-proﬁt legal and political organization of lawyers, legal workers, law students and jailhouse lawyers that represents progressive political movements, using the law to protect human rights above property interests and to attain social justice.
National Lawyers Guild—Loyola College of Law Chapter
A student organization of Loyola University’s College of Law that organizes law students to become the next generation of lawyers on social justice issues.
New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice
A non-profit organization that is dedicated to organizing workers across race and industry to build the power and participation of workers and communities by organizing day laborers, guestworkers, and homeless residents to build movement for dignity and rights in the post-Katrina landscape.
New Orleans Palestine Solidarity (NOLAPS)
A diverse group of people from Greater New Orleans working for a just peace in Palestine.
Patois: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
An organization dedicated to nurturing the city’s human rights community, supporting the work of local organizers and organizations involved in these struggles, and providing a forum for artistic expression of local and international issues, reports
Pax Christi New Orleans
A Catholic organization that strives to create a world that reflects the Peace of Christ by exploring, articulating, and witnessing to peace and justice issues.
Physicians for Human Rights and Social Responsibility (Tulane University)
An organization with a deep commitment to promoting health and safety as a human right.
Safe Streets/Strong Communities
A community-based membership organization that campaigns for a new criminal justice system in New Orleans, one that creates safe streets and strong communities for everyone, regardless of race or economic status.
Southern Poverty Law Center
A nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.
A volunteer-based, non-profit organization for children.
An organization of New Orleans’ public housing residents
Turning Point Partners of Louisiana
A program of Community Mediation Services that promotes and provides restorative practices to prevent conflict or to resolve it peacefully and with justice.
UNITY of New Orleans
An organization dedicated to resolve issues of homelessness in New Orleans.
VOTE (Voice of the Ex-Offender)
An organization that builds political and economic power for Formerly Incarcerated Persons, their families and communities in Louisiana.
VOTE (Voters Organize to Educate)
An organization of voters who organize to provide education on civic participation and voting rights.
Women With A Vision, Inc.
An organization that aims to improve the lives of marginalized women, their families, and communities by addressing the social conditions that hinder their health and well-being through advocacy, health education, supportive services, and community-based participatory research.
More than 45 faith leaders of various religious and faith traditions