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OPSO’S Plan For Housing Mental Health Inmates Wins Court Approval

City Must Cover Cost Of Plan

NEW ORLEANS - 8-13-2014

U.S. District Court Judge Lance Africk, who is overseeing the OPSO consent decree, ruled today that the Sheriff's proposed solution to house male acute mental health inmates at a mental health facility at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, La., is potentially compliant with the consent judgment. Judge Africk further ordered the City of New Orleans to cover the costs associated with the Sheriff's plan.

"While it is the city's responsibility to provide a good and sufficient jail, our proposed solution is the only viable plan on the table," said Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman. "We are pleased that Judge Africk recognized our progressive efforts to comply with the consent agreement.

In today's order, Judge Africk ordered the City of New Orleans to pay the cost of implementing the Hunt plan. The City is expected to pay the costs of renovating the Hunt facility as well as for renovations to the Temporary Detention Center, which now houses female acute mental health inmates.

After Sept. 30, the City has been ordered to provide the Sheriff's Office additional monthly payments of $203,000.

Sheriff Gusman said, "With this ruling, we hope all parties begin to recognize the need to provide for public safety in a more cooperative and thoughtful manner."

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