Advocates call for reassessment of EBR’s 40K active warrants
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Advocates with VOTE Blue, the Fair Fight Initiative, and the NAACP called for change when it comes to the parish’s active warrants on Wednesday, Aug. 31, outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse.
“The misuse of warrants in our city, in BR, just further adds to mass incarceration and we don’t want that,” said Amelia Herrera with VOTE Blue.
Fair Fight Initiative’s report claims the number of active warrants in the parish per capita is 15 times the national average. 89% of them are over a year old and less than 2% for non-violent offenses. Most of them for traffic violations.
“When you have police that have 40,000 active warrants, one for every third household in Baton Rouge, you have a less safe system,” said David Utter with the Fair Fight Initiative.
One of the things advocates are proposing is vacating all non-felony warrants older than six months and all non-violent felony warrants older than a year.
“So that means that’s going to benefit the person that runs from authorities of the court because they know they’ve done something or know there’s an allegation by a warrant there’s a warrant out for them, just wait it out six months and they won’t come get you. I mean it makes sense to me that there are more non-violent warrants that are outstanding because the police are doing other things with violent offenders that we have our hands full with,” said District Attorney Hillar Moore.
Those speaking also took issue with the conditions of the parish jail, claiming it to be unsafe and inhumane.
According to the report, 57 deaths have occurred in the jail since 2012. They said bulldozers would be the best solution.
“You know, an immediate assessment of the entire criminal justice system to figure out exactly how many beds we do need and then plan accordingly. But right now, a bulldozer is the best answer,” said Utter.
On one end, you have the system the way it is right now, and on the other, you have a group that essentially wants to erase what’s in place and start from scratch.
The DA says he does believe there is some ground for conversation in the middle when it comes to non-violent offenders.
Click here to report a typo.
Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.