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The count: the average prison sentences for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute versus domestic abuse battery

9.3 years vs. 5.6 months



A new report from crime and courts watchdog group Court Watch NOLA offers a glimpse into the city's criminal justice system using 2015 data pulled from several criminal justice agencies, including the New Orleans Police Department, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office and Orleans Public Defenders. In 2015, the average sentence a person served for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute far outweighed the average sentence for conviction of domestic abuse battery. Victims of crime were most often women (52 percent) and black (61 percent), and while people arrested for crimes are most often men (78 percent) and black (77 percent), that data does not reflect Orleans Parish census data (48 percent of the city is male, and 59 percent of the city is black). As public defenders face a federal lawsuit over the office's ability to provide indigent defense, the report found that more than 80 percent of defendants had a bond of more than $2,500 while more than half of defendants were poor or indigent.

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