City Says Funding New Jail Building Would Require ‘Cutting Basic City Services’
In a federal court filing on Sunday, the city of New Orleans said that building the controversial Phase III of the New Orleans jail and funding its operating costs would require “cutting basic city services” because of an expected revenue shortfall from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
U.S. District Court Judge Lance Affrick, who is overseeing a federal consent decree over the jail, meant to bring it into constitutional compliance, ordered the facility to be built in order to accommodate detainees with acute mental illness.
“In the context of recovering from the sharpest decline in economic activity in U.S. history, it would mean cutting basic city services,” the city wrote of building and funding Phase III. “It would also mean potentially reducing funding for public safety and programs that support other vulnerable populations in Orleans Parish who are not in jail, including the mental health population.”