Covering Louisiana

Aug 23, 2013 3:47 PM by AP

New facility to help New Orleans jail reform plan

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Months after inmate advocates complained that a $145 million jail under construction in New Orleans won't meet requirements of a court-approved reform plan, the city and Sheriff Marlin Gusman have agreed on construction of an additional facility.

The new building, along with renovations at an existing building in the jail complex, will address complaints that the jail currently under construction - and expected to open in March - lacks space to separately house mentally or physically ill inmates, suicidal inmates, youthful offenders or others who need to be separated from the general prisoner population.

Federal court documents filed this week say the sheriff will build the new facility with Federal Emergency Management Agency funds.

The plan for a new building will require the City Council to amend a 2011 ordinance.

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