Criminal Justice Reform
To achieve true justice and fair trials for the citizens of New Orleans, we will adopt comprehensive strategies to aid the ending of mass incarceration, address the indigent defense crisis in this city that underserves low-resource communities, both by ensuring adequate representation for all defendants and making the system easier to navigate. We must acknowledge that the judicial system is corrupt and condemn all actions and prejudices that disenfranchise and underserve BIPOC. Minor offenses should not lead to the death of anyone. Kourtney supports ending cash bail, ending for-profit prisons, and the release of individuals incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. Kourtney will commit to protect, defend and fight for all in her district who are threatened by this system and she will do everything she can to stand in the way of their rights being violated and overruled. Ms. Youngblood will work to improve communication and response from NOPD, provide youth with valuable community jobs, access to mentoring, and accountability.
Ms Youngblood promises to apply pressure and push the district attorney to reject zero-tolerance policies; decrease law enforcement in schools; protect the rights of young people, students in schools, and non-violent non-sex first offenders; pursue alternative legal resolutions during plea negotiations; combat judicial bias; push for release during detention hearings; acknowledge brain and social development and disabilities; challenge school-based violations; reduce excessive caseloads; counteract implicit biases; develop new policies and to collaborate with advocates within the city.
Guarantee Fair Trials
We must ensure adequate representation for all defendants and make the system easier to navigate. Our defense counsels must have a limit on the number of criminal cases they take on so that defendants receive a higher quality and more ethical defense. We need to begin incorporating programs and foundations that are involved in justice and human rights into our system. There must be higher standards within bar associations and law schools and they must work together with the courts. We must prohibit discriminatory practices and file charges against those within law enforcement, administration, and juries that have patterns of discrimination. We need more representation for misdemeanors and minor offenses, and more resources to defend those that face the threat of unjust or heavy prosecution.
Over-criminalization of BIPOC
We need to implement more diversion programs. We need to divert funds to resources that better serve the public. We need more funding for education, social welfare, and infrastructure. We must change the hiring process for police, as they are not above criticism and we must hold them to a higher accountability than civilians. We need to review cases of excessive force/wrongful death. Police need to be trained in deescalation and nonlethal subjugation tactics. We need more outreach and assistance programs for substance use and domestic violence victims. We must focus on lowering recidivism rates instead of filling prisons up. We need more social workers and crises workers on the ground. Ms. Youngblood will dedicate her time in the office to achieving these goals.
Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline
We need to start meeting our students' social and emotional needs and utilize supportive staff so that our youth can feel safe and access care, rather than be kicked out of schools. We need reform in and beyond the school system. Our current counselors and education staffs are overburdened. We need to train teachers how to recognize and work with the behavioral issues that many of our students possess. This is a racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and police brutality issue. We must stop suspending and expelling so many children and instead put our funding and focus into addressing the socioeconomic problems that these youth are undergoing. To keep our children and teachers safe, we must involve our parents after a child has been removed from class too many times. We must always involve our parents and community, implementing different approaches, besides policing, to behavioral correction. We need to combat the implicit biases that many of our teachers hold. It is proven that it is possible to change this trend that continues to fail our children by providing funding for more counseling and advocation for our students. We need to shift a drastic amount of our attention to our schools and students to address this epidemic. Ms. Youngblood will work with schools, the board, teachers, and parents to accomplish these things. She will provide the necessary tools to educators and she will always support any legislation, programs and foundations that align with and share this mission. Kourtney will push to reallocate the city budget to place these issues in the highest priority.