Orleans Parish Criminal Sherriff Marlin Gusman is closing the house of detention, which houses around 500 inmates. Most of these inamtes are state prisoners, a real cash cow for Gusman. The house of detention has come under fire over the last couple of years for deplorable conditions and safety concerns for inmates. Of coourse Gusman wants to blame the City of New Orleans for the problems saying the prison is underfunded.
The sheriff also sought to put some of the onus for making improvements on City Hall. By law, the city pays to house inmates awaiting trial. Gusman has complained for years that the per-diem payments the city makes — $22.39 per inmate each day — do not cover his costs.
“The city bears responsibility for properly funding the city’s jail and must take the steps necessary for maintaining these facilities,” Gusman said.
I think the real reason Gusman is playing the cry baby is all the money he will lose from the removal of state and federal prisoners. The real problem with Gusman’s jail is lack of security and supervision. These issues can improved with strong leadership from the Sherriff, a trait that Gusman seems to be lacking.