The City of New Orleans is asking a federal court to reject a proposed reform plan for the Orleans Parish Prison — a plan that the city says it will have to pay for even though the Orleans Parish Sheriff runs the facility.
The U.S. Justice Department and Sheriff Marlin Gusman agreed to the plan in December. That upset city officials who said it will add to the city's financial burden under a separate reform plan for the New Orleans Police Department.
A federal judge has granted preliminary approval of an agreement between the Justice Department and the city of New Orleans that's designed to clean up the city-funded jail.
The consent decree with Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman calls for him to provide adequate medical and mental health care and overhaul policies on use of force and rape prevention, among other reforms. U.S. District Judge Lance Africk's approval Tuesday is a step towards implementing some of those reforms.
Two Rapides Parish inmates who walked away from a detention center have been recaptured.
The sheriff's office told The Town Talk Thursday that both 48-year-old Ronald Vantress and 27-year-old Raymond Weston escaped Wednesday and were found and taken into custody without incident. Each has been booked on a charge of simple escape.
Weston, of Alexandria, was serving time for narcotics convictions while Vantress, of New Orleans, was serving time for a felony theft conviction.
Louisiana State Penitentiary Warden Burl Cain says he'd never heard of an inmate breaking out of jail just to seek a transfer to another prison, but that's what a New Orleans offender serving time for armed robbery attempted early Friday.
Cain tells The Advocate he received a call around 12:40 a.m. at his residence about a prison break at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel.
The new attorneys for the only Angola inmate still facing trial in the 1999 beating and stabbing death of a prison security officer told a state judge they probably will file a motion to postpone their client's trial.
The Advocatereports the trial for Barry Edge, who already is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder, is scheduled to begin Jan. 17.
Defense attorney Steve Lemoine told retired Orleans Parish Judge Jerome M. Winsberg Friday that he sees problems in getting the case together.
The costs of many prison phone calls are set to drop over the next couple of years.
The Louisiana Public Service Commission agreed Wednesday to a revamped proposal that will shrink the price tag for prisoners to call home, after complaints that current rates were too high and burdensome on poor families.
The PSC unanimously agreed to cut the rates charged for prison calls by about 25 percent when a prisoner is calling family, legal counsel, clergy or certain government agencies like schools. All surcharges will be removed.