For the Good of the Gulf: UNC Law Winter/Spring Break Pro Bono Project

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Not So Easy in the Big Easy

A few memorable observations from our week in New Orleans:

-The District Attorney’s office has one copy machine, and it was broken all of last week.

-The Sheriff’s office is still run on a generator. When the generator was down on Tuesday morning, they had no power, no phones, and no internet, and the databases run by the sheriff were inaccessible.

-Louisiana law allows a person to be held for 60 days until the DA decides whether or not to press charges.

-Temporary prisons have just been built next to Orleans Parish Prison. They look like a colony of giant bubble shaped tents surrounded by barbed wire.

-It is difficult to interview a client through Plexiglas using telephones, especially when the client is incompetent. (And it is a long, difficult process to get that client into an interview in the first place.)

-The McDonald’s across from the public defender’s office now only consists of a sign, a set of concrete picnic tables, and an empty lot. The sign still advertises McGriddles from before Katrina.

-Many streets are completely abandoned, with no sign of any residents returning. Some homes look as if they have not been entered since the hurricane.

-Food is amazing in New Orleans.


  • But a lot of things are close enough to walk to.

    It's all the exercise that makes this such a healthy city.

    And the beignets....

    By Blogger John Derrick, at 5:10 PM  

  • Another great post about your trip here. We can't thank you enough for your hard work! Prof. M.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:17 PM  

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