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Experts say Orleans Parish jail is understaffed; Live chat on coastal loss lawsuit at 12:30 p.m.

The most striking signs of change came from Loyola University New Orleans and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. After the usual May 1 deadline for applicants to choose a college, Loyola and St. Mary’s each found that their admission offers had been accepted by about one-third fewer students than expected. Both institutions were forced to make millions of dollars in budget cuts and a late push for more enrollment.

Loyola made a flurry of calls to students who had been accepted but had decided to go elsewhere, and had even paid deposits to other colleges. Professors and administrators who usually are not involved in the process made calls, along with the admissions officers, “and we did invite them to see if there was more we could do with aid,” said Roberta Kaskel, the interim vice president for enrollment management.

[Property developer Pres] Kabacoff believes that if Charity Hospital became the home of city government and the courts, with the new state hospital and the VA rising in the Mid-City area, it becomes possible to bring big-time retail back to Canal Street because there are now thousands of workers within five to 10 minutes of what could be a great shopping complex just as in the old days when ladies put on their high heels and gloves to go shopping downtown.

According to the city’s own experts, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office is vastly understaffed, needing 135 more security deputies and 13 more nurses and other health care workers even to run a sharply downsized jail complex, at an added cost of $7 million a year.

Also, the city’s consultants say the new jail now nearing completion, slated for 1,438 beds, can’t handle the number of projected prisoners it will receive even under a best-case scenario.

That scenario includes shedding nearly 500 state inmates and 66 Plaquemines Parish inmates who being held in New Orleans under an expiring contract. The jail houses around 2,300 total inmates.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office had refused to release its jail staffing review to The Advocate. But U.S. District Judge Lance Africk agreed Thursday to allow a report to be made public that summarizes the work of three national consulting firms hired by the city to project inmate populations and jail-staffing costs.

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About Mark Moseley

Mark Moseley blogs at Your Right Hand Thief. Until mid 2014, Mark Moseley was The Lens' opinion writer, engagement specialist and coordinator for the Charter Schools Reporting Corps. After Katrina and the Federal Flood he helped create the Rising Tide conference, which grew into an annual social media event dedicated to the future of New Orleans.