WHAT WE’VE DONE
KEY REFORMS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Created an enhanced Screening Department to effectively prosecute violent offenders
Implemented leading edge technology to boost case management tracking and initiate remote access to D.A. Office
Expanded Domestic Violence Unit to secure more protection for victims
Increased referrals to Specialty Courts and helped create new Veterans Court
Established policies for the uniform treatment of defendants, taking politics out of prosecution
Instituted the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) bringing social service agencies, law enforcement and the D.A.’s Office to develop innovative approaches to combat domestic violence
Partnered with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and State Police to create a task force charged with tackling high level drug trafficking
CREATING POSITIVE SYSTEMIC CHANGE
D.A. Montgomery has served the Northshore as District Attorney for five years. Since being sworn in, D.A. Montgomery has upended the political establishment by rooting out corruption, updating office-wide technology, and fundamentally redefining true measures of success.
D.A. Montgomery is a lifelong Louisiana resident and attended LSU Law School. As a former Assistant United States Attorney who served as a federal criminal prosecutor, former criminal defense attorney, entrepreneur, and small business owner, D.A. Montgomery knows how to make tough and decisive decisions for his constituents.
What Do D.A. Montgomery’s Changes Mean For You?
- Fair administration of justice
- An office accessible to all, not just the affluent and connected
- More protection for victims of domestic violence
- An office that understands the balance between punishment and rehabilitation
Saving Taxpayer Money
Improving Policies and Screening
Over a multiyear period, D.A. Montgomery has overseen a 20% decrease in the average age of cases pending trial. Each day a case remains unresolved, the result is often that a defendant sits in our local jail, costing taxpayers money. Due to a series of D.A. Montgomery’s policy changes in the trials division and enhanced screening, costs to local government have decreased by almost $1,000,000.
These financial savings are directly attributed to changes in screening practices, trial priorities, and an expanded screening team.
Under the prior administration, the D.A.’s office would manufacture trial statistics by calling in hundreds of citizens to sit as jurors for a case, then pleading out the case once the jury was seated. In 2013 and 2014, between 30-40% of the “trials” ended with a guilty plea once the jury was selected. Today that number is between 5-10%.
The policy changes made over the last five years not only reduced the processing time from arrest to resolution, but also established a fair and uniform treatment of defendants. The focus is now on prioritizing and effectively prosecuting dangerous and violent offenders.
One of the first changes D.A. Montgomery addressed was the lack of clear, uniform guidelines for staff. The outdated file management system was overhauled and upgraded from paper to electronic. Departmental laptops, capable of remotely accessing all criminal files, were issued to prosecutors and other personnel, bringing the office into the 21st century. Further improvements include:
- Secure office-wide email system
- First employee handbook
- Uniform vacation and family leave policies
- Technology to enable remote work
- Electronic time and attendance system for payroll purposes
Due to D.A. Montgomery’s early decisive action to update office-wide technology, prosecutors and other staff were already equipped to work remotely and keep the system of justice moving during the recent pandemic. None of this would have been possible under the prior administration’s out-of-date system.
D.A. Montgomery supervises 130 employees across four offices and manages a much larger workforce than those of his challengers in the District Attorney race. Simply put, D.A. Montgomery knows how to get the job done because he is the only person running with the experience and knowledge to create sustainable and wide-reaching change. D.A. Montgomery is committed to working for the people, no matter how challenging it may be politically.
Removing Violent Felons From Our Streets
Overhauling the screening process for incoming cases has permitted the D.A.’s Office to better ensure criminals do not escape appropriate prosecution. This partnership:
- Guarantees more complete cases
- Fosters interagency communications
- Assures appropriate charging decisions
- Reduces backend delays
Upfront complete case requirements allow for the early evaluation of case items and evidence needed for prosecution, reducing backend delays during the criminal justice process. Uniform plea policies and procedures spell out how defendants with similar criminal histories who are charged with similar conduct will be treated in like manner.
Why Is The Major Case Review Team Important?
A “Major Case Review” is a series of strategic meetings held between the prosecution and law enforcement that speed up cases and increase the likelihood of appropriate convictions.
The Major Case Review Team seeks to identify and correct both early case weaknesses and possible prosecution hurdles while encouraging the completion of thorough investigative reports in a timely manner. This unified team streamlines the review process and gets the most dangerous criminals off our streets in the most efficient way possible.
INCREASE IN FELONY CONVICTIONS
DECREASE IN REFUSALS IN BOTH PARISHES
INCREASE IN SUPPORTING STAFF FOR VICTIMS
Convicting Domestic Violence Abusers
D.A. Montgomery has substantially improved the Domestic Violence Unit so abusers no longer evade justice. He more than doubled the number of workers on each domestic violence case, including adding a Victim Assistance Coordinator to assess the needs of victims and aid them during their legal processes. Victim safety is the hallmark that guides how the D.A.’s office handles these cases.
Hold Offenders Accountable
In the Montgomery Administration, abusers no longer evade justice.
“Domestic Violence is one of the most commonly reported crimes in our district. It is an abhorrent crime that destroys families and is the cause of 40 percent of homicides in Washington and St. Tammany Parishes. The D.A.’s Office works at the forefront of this pressing, dangerous problem, reaching out and protecting victims while aggressively prosecuting their abusers.”
– District Attorney Warren Montgomery
Instituting the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) in St. Tammany
D.A. Montgomery’s office started the CCRT by bringing together partners from the District Attorney’s office, law enforcement, the courts, the Parish, Safe Harbor, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Probation and Parole, and organizational leaders in the community to discuss and develop uniform approaches and responses to combat domestic violence in our district.
Proactive Prosecution of Domestic Violence Cases
Under D.A. Montgomery’s leadership, the newly expanded Domestic Violence Unit cleared up old cases and moved from strictly reactive to proactive. Domestic criminal offenses are now immediately identified and flagged as domestic violence upon the defendant’s arrest. The Victim Advocates Division (VAC) is instructed to contact victims within the following 48 hours to offer ongoing support, including bilingual assistance, to victims.
INCREASE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GUILTY PLEAS
DECREASE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES DISMISSED OR REFUSED
Connecting With the Community
D.A. Montgomery takes a community-first approach to his position by working with local leaders and furthering programs that both educate and inform constituents about the District Attorney’s office.
Kids Legal Education and Discovery (Kids L.E.A.D.)
The Kids L.E.A.D. program exposes high school students to the criminal justice system early in a positive way. Students gather at the Justice Center and are taught by educators from the D.A.’s office and other partners. There, they learn about the fundamentals of the law, how to stay out of trouble, and even the legal careers available to them in the future.
Teach One to Lead One
D.A. Montgomery instituted the Teach One to Lead One program by first recruiting and training mentors from the community. Mentors meet weekly with 8th and 11th grade students at Bogalusa High School to teach them key principles, such as respect, integrity, self-control, and courage. Upon completion, participants receive certificates in a special ceremony.
Our Community Partners
CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY CENTER (HOPE HOUSE)
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE COORDINATED RESPONSE TEAM
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI)
DIVERSION PARTNERSHIPS WITH NTCC
LET’S MAKE A DIFFERENCE TOGETHER
HELP SHAPE THE FUTURE OF WASHINGTON AND ST. TAMMANY PARISHES