As Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom passes the torch to sheriff-elect Mark Garber, the Sheriff's Office joins 60 cities and counties from across the country in joining a justice initiative launched from the White House.

To break the cycle of incarceration, the Administration is launching the Data-Driven Justice Initiative (DDJ) with a bipartisan coalition of 67 city, county, and state governments who have committed to using data-driven strategies to divert low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal justice system and change approaches to pre-trial incarceration

 

Every year, more than 11 million people move through America’s 3,100 local jails, many on low-level, non-violent misdemeanors, costing local governments approximately $22 billion a year.  In local jails, 64 percent of people suffer from mental illness, 68 percent have a substance abuse disorder, and 44 percent suffer from chronic health problems.  Communities across the country have recognized that a relatively small number of these highly-vulnerable people cycle repeatedly not just through local jails, but also hospital emergency rooms, shelters, and other public systems, receiving fragmented and uncoordinated care at great cost to American taxpayers, with poor outcomes.

 

The Data-Driven Justice Initiative is designed to reduce unnecessary incarcerations by using data to identify and break the incarceration cycle.

Lafayette joins Orleans Parish as the only two municipalities in the state that have committed to the new program.