NOPD and OPP consent decrees The first steps of major overhaul for the embattled criminal justice system began when the New Orleans Police Department and the Orleans Parish Prison were put under federal consent decrees.

On July 24, Attorney General Eric Holder came to New Orleans to announce the consent decree for the police department which had seen two high-profile shooting cases -- Henry Glover and the Danziger Bridge incident -- end with officers convicted of wrongly shooting civilians. The consent decree was critical of an off-duty detail system rife with corruption and accusations of discriminatory policing.

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The sweeping reforms for the NOPD won't come cheap, and Mayor Landrieu acknowledged the challenges of paying for the consent decree for the NOPD in July, especially as the city continues to have yearly budget woes.

'There are some funds that we have to pay for ourselves,' said Landrieu. 'We have to improve technology, we have to put cameras in the cars and it's going to cost about $11 million a year over the four- or five-year period of time.'

The Orleans Parish Prison has had a tarnished repuation much like the NOPD. For years prisoners in OPP have complained of abuse by other prisoners and, in some cases, by prison guards. In December, Sheriff Marlin Gusman signed the consent decree, although he would not agree with the assessment that conditions at the jail are inhumane.

Much like the NOPD, funding for the consent decree for OPP remains a challenge.

--Michael Luke--

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