Hearing on control of Orleans Parish jail set to start today

Hearing on control of Orleans Parish jail set to start today

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A receivership hearing beginning at federal court today could strip Gusman of his authority to run the new jail.

A federal judge today will hear arguments about whether the new jail in New Orleans needs new leadership after critics have said Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman is not doing a good job running the facility.

Inmate advocates and the United States Department of Justice say Gusman's stewardship of the jail is failing and a new authority needs to take over.

It's a new $145 state of the art facility, built to federal standards, but advocates for prisoners and the justice department say serious issues within the prison system have not improved.

Critics say Gusman has not complied with the reforms mandated in a 2013 federal consent decree. They point to unacceptable levels of violence inside the jail.

The City of New Orleans agrees and wants someone else to step in and run the jail.

Gusman contends he is doing the best job he can with what he calls inadequate funding from the city to run the jail.

Yesterday a group of area ministers came to Gusman's defense, comparing the situation here with other jails across the country they say have been given much longer to make positive changes.

The receivership hearing is slated to begin later this morning, but it could last several days.

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