Holding New Orleans’ criminal court system accountable
Since 2007, Court Watch NOLA has recruited, trained, and supported volunteers in observing and reporting on whether Orleans Parish Criminal Court judges, prosecutors, public defenders are doing their jobs transparently, ethically, and constitutionally.
WHY WE DO IT
Ensuring that our public officials are held accountable for their day-to-day decisions and actions is a basic tenant of American democracy.
Each story of a Court Watcher’s day in court is uploaded to our database, where Court Watch NOLA aggregates the data and compares a court’s operations to national best practices.
WE ARE SEEN
Volunteer Court Watchers wear bright yellow lanyards identifying themselves and carry bright yellow clipboards.
Their daily presence in the courtroom helps identify systemic problems while sending the message that we care about making the court system just.
Over the past 14 years, Court Watch NOLA has recruited, educated, trained, and supported more than a thousand volunteers in observing and reporting on whether our judges, prosecutors, public defenders, sheriff deputies, police officers, and other criminal justice actors are doing their jobs professionally, transparently, fairly, and economically.