City appeals approval of OPP consent decree

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 30 at 10:41 PM

WWLTV.com
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NEW ORLEANS -- The city of New Orleans filed a motion appealing last month's approval of a federal consent decree between the U.S. Department of Justice and the prison.

The deal was approved despite objections from Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman says he needs more money from the city to pay for the reforms, while the city says the sheriff doesn't need more city money.

The Southern Poverty Law Center released this statement on the city's appeal:

“We are deeply disappointed that the City has chosen to continue to obstruct and delay the desperately needed reforms at Orleans Parish Prison. Every day of delay puts New Orleanians, who the City has a responsibility to house safely, at risk of significant harm and even death. The dangerous conditions at the jail harm thousands of people every year, as illustrated by the numerous letters of public support written to the Court.

"This administration is out of step with the expressed will of its constituents, and with the public interest. It's extremely unfortunate that the City continues to expend extraordinary amounts of taxpayer dollars to avoid compliance with the Constitution.”

The city says it is striving for a well run, well managed and fiscally prudent jail that meets constitutional standards.

"No one is more frustrated by the mismanagement of the jail than the Mayor,” said City Attorney Sharonda Williams. “As a city, we are all shocked by the ongoing mismanagement of the Orleans Parish Prison which consistently compromises the safety and fiscal health of New Orleans. The City continues to advocate for common sense reforms that will not misuse the public’s tax dollars. We are keeping with citizen priorities by advocating for a well-run, well-managed, and fiscally prudent jail that meets constitutional standards."

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