Orleans Parish Prison

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.

Tom Gogola / The Lens

One of two inmates who escaped from Orleans Parish Prison Saturday is back in custody, though authorities were still searching for the other earlier today, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sherrick Brumfield, 27, who was awaiting trial on second degree battery charges, remains free.   Reginald Young, 22, was being held on armed robbery, kidnapping, and other charges. Young surrendered to authorities at 2:13 a.m. Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Justice Department says its recent inspection of the New Orleans jail found "alarming conditions" and uncovered persistently high rates of prisoner-on-prisoner violence and staff misconduct. Authorities have been negotiating terms of a consent decree that would require certain changes at Orleans Parish Prison.

Gusman closes House of Detention

Apr 11, 2012
Tom Gogola / The Lens

Surrounded by deputies, Orleans Parish Sherriff Marlin Gusman announced today that he is closing the Orleans Parish Prison House of Detention facility on Perdido Street.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is suing officials in charge of the New Orleans jail. The group says inmates are subjected to violence and held in inhumane conditions.

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