Dwight Hudson for Metro Council District 9


89 January 24, 2016 17.36

Clearing the back log of misdemeanor warrants – East Baton Rouge Parish currently has over 160,000 outstanding misdemeanor warrants. This issue is fostering a culture of non-compliance and subsequently adding to our crime problem. Clearing the backlog will go a long way to getting us on proper footing.
First, we must focus on efforts to clear the backlog that does not involve putting people in jail. There are a number of social costs associated with jailing and avoiding those if at all possible will best serve the community. Amnesty days have been a huge success in the past and must be continued. Other reforms such as a court date reminder system, second chance summonses and increasing awareness about the opportunity for payment extensions and the community service option will allow us the opportunity to make a significant impact on the problem.
Ultimately, if warrant holders continue to not take care of their business then the City Parish is obligated to enforce the law. Opening the misdemeanor jail quarterly will allow us create a culture of compliance and encourage people to resolve their issues. A study by LSU sociology professors Ed Shihadeh and Anthony Reed found that the opening of the misdemeanor jail during three trial runs back in 2011 and 2012 resulted in a 20% decrease in violent and property crime.