New Orleans seeks rejection of jail reform plan

New Orleans, La. - There's a much clearer picture of what could happen if the Orleans Parish Prison consent decree moves forward.

The Sheriff's office informed the city that estimated costs to bring the jail into compliance could run as much as 45 million dollars. That's an increase of about 23 million from what the city gives it now.

The city filed documents in Federal Court requesting that the judge deny the approval of the consent decree.

The city says it's committed to protecting the constitutional rights of inmates in OPP, but the prison consent decree could impact the public's safety.

According to the document, the city will be forced to take 23 million from city operation, like the NOPD or it would have to reduce the fire department's allocation by 35 percent.

The city may be forced to lay off more than 600 employees or begin furloughing employees for periods in excess of 30 days.

It also states the consent decree may result in forcing the city to raise taxes.

Besides warnings of what could happen with a prison consent decree, the documents also blast Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

It states, 'The Sheriff hasn't accepted any responsibility for the conditions at OPP and it would be a breach of the city's duties to all citizens to reward the Sheriff by giving him more funds.'

Sheriff Gusman released a statement saying, 'The administration needs to show leadership and fulfill its obligation to properly fund the public safety system of this city, which should be its top priority.

The court scheduled a hearing for April 1st to determine the fairness of the consent decree.