Montrell CarmoucheQuality Care Innovator at Operation Restoration New Orleans, LA Award Year: 2022
Montrell Carmouche leads Operation Restoration’s Safety and Freedom Fund, a community bail fund that posts bonds on behalf of people who are incarcerated solely because they are poor. Carmouche is fighting to end the criminalization of race and poverty by disrupting a legal system that treats poor and primarily Black people differently than their wealthy and predominantly white counterparts. When OR acquired SFF in January of 2020, the fund was in a $25,000 deficit. Within 18 months, Carmouche raised over $1,000,000 and reconnected 448 families. As the sole employee for the SFF for nine months, she worked to support individuals with bail assistance in Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and Jefferson Parish. At the age of 21, Carmouche received a 262-month federal sentence. Eight days after being released, Montrell began her work at OR. She also led the Safety and Freedom Fund at OR, and managed “The Closet,” where women are provided holistic services to ease their transition back into their communities. She served as Coordinator of Mentor Services, where she guided adolescent girls involved in the legal system. Carmouche was a featured panelist at the Newcomb Art Museums Per Sister Panel on Criminal Justice Reform, is an active member of the National Bail Fund Network and the Louisiana Incarcerated Women’s Task Force. In 2021, Carmouche was named one of the inaugural Justice Fellows for The Education Trust, in addition to being an EPIC Ambassador with the Ladies of Hope Ministries.