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SHERIFF GUSMAN ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING CITY COUNCIL VOTE ON SPECIAL NEEDS FACILITY

NEW ORLEANS - 07-15-2021

Following is a statement from Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman regarding today's vote by the New Orleans City Council on the proposed Special Needs Facility at OJC:

"It is disappointing to see self-proclaimed criminal justice reform groups advocate against improving conditions for detainees in crisis, as required by law.

"Some of those trying to make this a political issue—instead of human issue—weren't here when the State of Louisiana purposely chose not to include an adequate, secure mental health unit for the appropriate care of these types of inmates at University Medical Center which replaced Charity Hospital.

"Moreover, this issue has already been litigated and we are required by the federal court to build a mental health and medical facility that meets constitutional standards and best practices. In addition, this facility is FEMA funded.

"This isn't a game. This is a question of whether we, as a community, want a safe, humane place for those in crisis who pose a risk to themselves and those around them."

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