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Sheriff Moving Inmates Into New Jail

It’s moving day at the Orleans Parish Prison. Starting Monday morning, inmates will be taken to the new $145 million jail next door.

It’s called the Orleans Parish Corrections Center. It can accommodate 1,438 inmates, has a medical clinic, two courtrooms, outdoor exercise yards, cell blocks with double cells and some with beds lined up in an open room.

Deputy Chief Jerry Ursin says the new jail is nothing like the old one.

“That was designed in the teens, built in early 20s, opened up around 1924. At the time it was built there was no air conditioning and really no heat," he said. "All that was added as time went on. It’s the old-time H design, which is just a terrible design for correction.”  

The new design provides clear sight lines for officers. There’s almost 900 security cameras. And there’s open space and natural light.

There are no bars on cells, but doors that slam shut.  

Sheriff Marlin Gusman is under a federal consent decree to operate a jail that meets constitutional requirements. He’s battling with the city to build another new jail because he says the one opening today is still not big enough.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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