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Residents not worried about mentally-ill inmates

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ST. GABRIEL - People who live near Elayn Hunt Correctional Facility aren't worried about a judge's ruling that will move inmates with mental illness from Orleans Parish Prison to the Iberville location.

The ruling is part of a consent decree to create better living conditions and treatment for mentally ill inmates.

Residents aren't scared of what the new guests will mean to their community.

"It doesn't bother me at all. We've been here all our lives. Nothing has ever happened. It's just a way of life out here. It's something we have to deal with and just hasn't really ever bothered us," said Hope Duplessis, who lives near the prison.

Elayn Hunt already houses mentally ill inmates so the staff is already trained for the additional inmates.

"It's not unusual for us to do that, especially at Elayn Hunt. We have three facilities in our department that provide the highest level of mental health care to offenders," said Pam Laborde with the Department of Corrections.

The City of New Orleans was ordered to foot the bill for improvements to the facility and salary for staff, but the Mayor's office isn't pleased with the ruling and may file an appeal.


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