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5:00 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Consent Decree Outlines Jail Reforms

The New Orleans jail now has a plan to fix its troubled record of inmate violence and staff misconduct. The problem now is how to pay for improvements.

A consent decree has been worked out between the Orleans Parish sheriff, who runs the jail, and parties that sued over jail conditions — the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Justice Department. The decree outlines what needs to happen, such as more training and medical care. Sheriff Marlin Gusman said that he’s still working with city officials on a plan to pay for improvements at a news conference announcing the deal .

“Well they’re not here today, so they’re not as close as I’d like them to be,” Gusman said.   

Jail reforms are estimated to cost tens of millions of dollars. The city is also grappling with ways to pay for another consent decree aimed at improving the police department. Funding may ultimately be determined by a federal judge.

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