Sheriff: Lack of funding hurting personnel at OPP

Published: Feb. 2, 2016 at 7:03 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2016 at 9:44 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman and several jail monitors appeared before a federal judge Tuesday morning to speak about unresolved issues affecting the Orleans Parish Prison system.

Jail monitors reported major issues concerning the budget, ongoing jail violence and unreported incidents, an unusually high employee turnover rate, and employees not receiving the proper training necessary to run the jail.

Gusman commented on the staffing shortage that has led to hundreds of inmates being temporarily housed in other parish jails.

He says it is because of the lack of funding, and the ability for other jails to effectively hold inmates.

After the hearing Gusman's attorney, Blake Arcuri, backed up the claims.

"We are paying people $12 an hour right now to come here. There's a cost associated with training right now. A major problem is that people who come here get trained, and as soon as they're certified, jump ship to a department that pays two or three times as much," Arcuri said. "So we think that with the salary increases were going to be able to retain and higher better staff and then retain the good staff that we have and continue to move forward."

The judge is asking for an employee breakdown report within two weeks, saying it is important to help determine if the sheriff is getting enough money to run the jail.

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