District Attorney’s Statement
Crime, one of societies most difficult problems, threatens the safety of and intimidates law abiding citizens while consuming enormous resources of law enforcement and the judicial system. As we continue in our fight against crime, it is evident that additional preventive methods of battling crime are necessary. Education is one such method. Our youth must be taught that violence and crime solve nothing, but rather they produce a web of consequences often times destroying the lives of many.
Project L.E.A.D., “Legal Enrichment And Decision-making”, a program of the Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s Office, is designed to help students recognize and analyze potential consequences of the difficult decisions they face during adolescence and beyond. By focusing on peer pressure, responsibility, self-respect, self-control and self-esteem, Project L.E.A.D. gives students the tools necessary to avoid many of the pitfalls and traps that often lead to delinquent conduct and criminal activity. By using a law-related education model, the students are exposed to the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes that are necessary to function effectively in a democratic, pluralistic society.
The 12 L.E.A.D. classes taught by assistant district attorneys and other district attorney personnel give students the intellectual tools to recognize the legal and social consequences of drugs and alcohol abuse, violence, bullying, and hate crimes. This law-related course of study focuses on the operation of the criminal justice system, culminating in a full-scale mock trial experience for the students, a tour of the parish prison, and a local government tour where the students meet local elected officials.
Those who say we cannot afford prevention programs like Project L.E.A.D. are wrong. Postponing these efforts imposes a terrible burden on future generations who will be forced to face the problem we only defer today. As a nation, we must make this task a priority. We can reduce the violence. We can make our communities a safer place for our children, our elderly, and ourselves.
As a parent and grandparent and as your District Attorney, I am committed to the success and education of our youth. I am extremely grateful to the local schools for their support of this worthy program and to my assistant district attorneys and staff for their time and commitment in teaching the Project L.E.A.D. classes. Together we will make a difference.
For upcoming events of the L.E.A.D Program, visit our calendar page.
For photos from recent Project L.E.A.D. events, please click here.
Rae Riley, Project L.E.A.D. Coordinator
CHARLES J. BALLAY
25th Judicial District
Parish of Plaquemines
State of Louisiana