Orleans Parish Prison

The sheriff in charge of the overcrowded and violent New Orleans jail is firing back at critics. Sheriff Marlin Gusman favors a federal consent decree, while Mayor Mitch Landrieu says a federal receiver should be in charge.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is outlining his plan for state legislation to help the city. He’s asking the federal government — not the state — to help reform the troubled city jail.

Problems at the New Orleans jail are being revealed in graphic testimony under way in federal court. A judge is hearing what’s wrong with jail management, and what’s the solution.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu outlined dire circumstances on the horizon in an emergency meeting of the New Orleans City Council Thursday morning, warning that the city will be forced to drastically cut services and furlough public safety employees if they adhere to the U.S. Department of Justice's consent decree mandating changes at the Orleans Parish jail complex.

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.

The City of New Orleans is reviewing a consent decree designed to revamp operations at the parish jail. Federal officials are looking to the city to correct conditions they found unconstitutional.

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.

The U.S. Justice Department is asking to join a class action lawsuit that accuses Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman of overseeing a jail that routinely subjects prisoners to brutal, inhumane conditions.

The federal agency filed a request Monday in federal court, asking to be included as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in April by the Southern Poverty Law Center contending the jail's conditions violate the U.S. Constitution.

Whether public defenders are funded by the state, county, city or some combination thereof, governments across the country are sacrificing lawyers for the poor and putting the constitutionally guaranteed right to counsel at risk.

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