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Jail Battle Heads To New Orleans City Council Committee

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The New Orleans jail is up for discussion today. The city's Inspector General is pleading with officials to keep the new jail on track, and expenses within budget.

Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux is asking the City Council Criminal Justice Committee to restrain any attempt by Sheriff Marlin Gusman to build a new jail – especially while one is under construction and behind schedule.

“The real problem here is there’s no end to, you know, the appetite is insatiable — appetite for money on the part of the sheriff," he said. "And if it continues like this we’re going to be on a course where we’ll only be able to afford cops and jails. This thing is eating up the resources of the city. To put a new jail out there which will encourage increased incarceration is a terrible mistake.”  

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has been battling the sheriff over managing the new $145 million jail. He wanted to stop construction to resolve security concerns for inmates with mental health needs.

Gusman says he needs another new jail. He’s under a federal court order to provide a constitutional, well-run jail.

The council committee is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

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