Headshot of Isobel Healy

Isobel B. Healy

  • Hosted by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
  • Sponsored by U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
  • Service location New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Law school Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
  • Issue area Crime Victims Advocacy
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Crime Victims Advocacy Program

The Project

Isobel Healy’s (she/her) project at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services will provide civil legal aid and assistance with victims’ rights enforcement to communities with high levels of disinvestment in the New Orleans metro area—particularly Black, Indigenous, and people of Color (BIPOC) who were disproportionately impacted by a spike in violent crime post-COVID.

The close connection between the social determinants of health and broad disparities in access to justice led Isobel to pursue her career in public interest law. Violent crime is a public health crisis in marginalized and low-income communities in New Orleans, particularly within BIPOC communities. Additionally, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, older adults, veterans, and chronically homeless individuals are not only more likely to experience violence—they are less likely to access victims’ resources and legal remedies. Although New Orleans has a robust system for integrating civil legal aid as part of a coordinated community response to domestic violence, there is no such process for other crime victims. While law enforcement and non-profits offer services to folks impacted by violent crime, survivors are often unaware of the scope of help. They may not know how to access aid, or are reluctant to seek it due to distrust of systems entangled in historic institutional racism and outright discrimination.

Fellowship Plans

Isobel’s project will reduce barriers to accessing civil legal aid through a trauma-informed racial equity lens in collaboration with trusted community partners across the New Orleans metro area, which has one of the highest crime rates in the United States. Isobel will establish a medical-legal partnership with University Medical Center’s Trauma Recovery Center to provide direct legal services to a minimum of 120 violent crime victims. She will conduct outreach to trusted community-based organizations and victim service advocates to develop and refine a streamlined referral process and resources for crime victims. Additionally, Isobel will host quarterly “Know Your Rights” trainings and legal clinic events for clients and service providers on relevant topics such as crime victim reparation claims, protective orders, evictions, public benefits, and victims’ rights.

As a public interest attorney, public health advocate, and long-time NOLA resident, I am committed to uplifting folks who are disproportionately affected by crime, socioeconomic inequality, and poor health outcomes.

Isobel B. Healy /
2023 Crime Victims Advocacy Program Fellow

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