Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana

The Pitch

JAC helps New Orleanians get back to work instead of back to prison by providing non-violent criminal record expungements and by working to reform expungement policy.

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Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana
Ameca Reali & Adrienne Wheeler

Ameca Reali & Adrienne Wheeler

The Entrepreneur

After graduating from Loyola University College of Law, Ameca began dedicating her legal career to defending the human rights of oppressed people. She has worked on a wide variety of issues ranging from Death Penalty Appeals, Juvenile Justice, Access to courts and justice, criminal defense, public housing, first amendment violations and education reform in Post Katrina New Orleans. She has worked closely with the Loyola Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild as a legal observer.

Adrienne Wheeler received a Masters degree from New York University, where she focused on suspension of municipal law as a method of policing social movements, and a J.D. from Loyola College of Law, New Orleans. She has been an active advocate for justice, monitoring police activities during protests and conducting surveys on homeowner consent issues after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The Opportunity/Challenge

In Louisiana, approximately 1 in 4 people have criminal backgrounds. 95% of JAC’s clients experienced trouble securing sustainable employment due to their criminal records.

The Impact

  • Over 1,500 clients served for non-violent criminal record expungements
  • 15 clinics, 15 community education classes hosted, and 30 attorneys trained
  • Influenced state policy on the use of criminal records in housing and employment
  • Raised over $500,000 since June 2012

Class

2012-13 Fellows

Sector

Consultant

Press Coverage

News Posts

“PitchNOLA was a phenomenal platform for JAC to present the expungement issue to the public. The $5,000 1st place prize will increase our capacity to service more clients, thereby helping to break the cycle of recidivism and contribute to a thriving and healthy New Orleans.”

Ameca Reali
Co-Founder, Justice and Accountability Center of New Orleans ('13)