Hearing on Orleans jail resumes Monday

Hearing on Orleans jail resumes Monday

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After a week off, the second week of a receivership hearing over who should run the city's troubled jail begins.

Monday morning, attorneys for Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman argued that Gusman deserves to maintain control over the prison system, despite criticism that Gusman isn't living up to the job.

Before the hearing, Gusman's lawyer told FOX 8 they were planning to hear from the plaintiffs' last witness Monday, and that they look forward to defending Gusman's case and the progress he's made.

Critics have complained that serious issues of violence inside the jail persist, including an incident where an inmate committed suicide behind a locked shower door. They want a federal judge to give Gusman's job of running the prison system to someone else.

During the first week of the hearing, attorneys for Gusman said that improvements are being made and there has not been a single stabbing since the new jail opened eight months ago. Gusman has said that he's doing the best job he can to run the new $145 million lock up, but the city isn't giving him enough money to do so.

New Orleans Councilwoman Susan Guidry has been critical of Gusman's progress citing incidents of violence behind bars.

"The inmates and the detainees continue to suffer violence and even suicides," said Guidry.

Gusman's Lawyer James Williams told FOX 8, "increased incidents means you're catching more before it develops into very serious injuries, so if you look at it by number of incidents it's going to look one way, but if you look at the number of incidents it means you're capturing more, you're discovering more, all that means that there's better oversight and we think that's a good thing."

There is no time frame on when the judge will decide whether to strip Sheriff Marlin Gusman of his authority to run the jail.

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