Orleans Parish Criminal District Court. (Michael Isaac Stein/The Lens)
"Kelly Orians, co-director of the First 72+, a re-entry program in New Orleans that provides resources to the formerly incarcerated, said that both her personal and professional experiences have led her to believe that a solution to the problem of domestic violence is not going to be found in the criminal justice system, but elsewhere.
“As someone who survived domestic violence, and subsequently chose to not prosecute my abuser, someone whose high school classmate was murdered by the father of her children — after she paid the bail to get him out of jail — and someone who works every day to support families impacted by incarceration, I know that the district attorney’s office, the public defenders office, the police department, and the criminal district court system are simply not capable of achieving justice for victims of domestic violence, or of holding people who abuse their partners accountable,” she said.
“Some women have deeply personal and very valid reasons why they choose to not participate in the prosecution of their abusers. Although many actors in these institutions are well – intentioned, the adversarial criminal justice system is insufficient, and it cannot handle the unique and delicate situation of domestic violence, we need a radically different approach to keep people in our community safe.“"
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