Hearing on OPP consent decree postponed

New Orleans, La. - A hearing to determine who should pay for the federal consent decree at Orleans Parish Prison will now happen later this month.

A district court judge granted a continuance because of a report that came out last week.

Attorneys for the city of New Orleans requested a continuance Monday morning because of last week's report from the office of the inspector general.

Judge Lance Africk agreed, saying that there were some discovery issues still outstanding because of that report.

Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux says Orleans Parish Prison appears to be adequately funded when compared to another jail of similar size.

His report is also critical of accounting at the sheriff's office saying it's impossible to tell if money from the city is being used to fund services that the city is required to pay for.

Also last week, Judge Lance Africk approved the federal consent decree and Monday's hearing was to determine how much money it will cost and who should pay for it but now that hearing has been continued until later this month.

The sister of a woman who died at Orleans Parish Prison says she understands the reason for the delay.

"It's frustrating because I'd like to get on with it but at the same time, I want to make sure that things are done properly and everything's in place so that justice can be served and the conditions can improve," said Christy Richmond.

The hearing has been continued to June 24th.

Judge Africk urged all the parties involved to work together to address what he calls unacceptable conditions at the jail.

That consent decree calls for widespread reforms at the jail after years of suicides, sexual attacks and poor conditions.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman says he needs another $20 million dollars to correct the problems.