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Court filing: New jail won't fix old problems

3 years 4 months 1 week ago May 24, 2013 May 24, 2013 Friday, May 24 2013 May 24, 2013 11:20 AM in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - Inmates' lawyers and the U.S. Justice Department say the current design of a $145 million jail under construction in New Orleans won't meet requirements of a reform agreement signed by Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

In papers filed Thursday at federal court, they say the facility lacks space to separately house mentally or physically ill inmates, suicidal inmates, youthful offenders or others who need to be separated from the general inmate population.

And they claim design flaws will make direct supervision of inmates difficult, hampering efforts to curb prison violence.

Gusman says the jail was designed in accordance with American Correctional Association standards and meets requirements of a city ordinance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is providing construction funds.

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