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By Ralph Grunewald
NACDL News columns.
NACDL members responded generously to support our Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund. Since its inception immediately following Hurricane Katrina’s direct-hit on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the Fund has provided grants to defense lawyers and criminal justice institutions in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
As of December 31, the Fund has disbursed more than $235,000 to 175 defense lawyers and three criminal justice groups. Averaging $1,300 per grant, the funds have been used to cover a wide range of needs, including the purchase of office equipment, computer software, and supplies; monthly office rent payments; travel expenses to meet clients; clothing for court appearances; payment of bar fees and insurance premiums; purchases of reference materials; clean-up costs; and many other activities in order to help these lawyers get back on their feet.
Among the grantees was The Justice Center, in New Orleans, which houses the Louisiana Crisis Assistance Center, the Innocence Project of Ne
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