Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman is trying to spread anticipated financial pain at his jail complex to Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration. Gusman’s attorneys filed papers Friday with U.S. District Judge Lance Africk seeking to include the city as a third-party defendant in an ongoing lawsuit alleging that Gusman has been running an unconstitutional, unsafe jail rife with brutality, understaffing and other problems.
Family members of U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. William Goetzee pleaded Friday morning for a judge to put a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputy in prison for enabling Goetzee to commit suicide while in jail. Instead, former jailer William Thompson got five years of probation and 200 hours of community service.
A former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy will be sentenced in Criminal Court Friday for his role in the 2011 suicide of William “Bill” Goetzee in Orleans Parish Prison. William Thompson will appear in Chief Judge Camille Buras’ Criminal District courtroom for sentencing on a felony charge of malfeasance in office.
As Tropical Storm Isaac churns up the Gulf of Mexico, Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman said today that he shipped nearly half the prisoners held at Orleans Parish Prison to state facilities around Louisiana. In a statement, Gusman said he had moved 1,037 prisoners overnight from FEMA-built jails built in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
New Orleans officials have been diligently working behind the scenes to end for next year the Orleans Parish Sheriff Office’s longtime per-prisoner budgeting system, and several said publicly this week that they’re optimistic a change is at hand. But before they can work on the 2013 budget, Sheriff Marlin Gusman said he needs more money to make it through this year, he told City Council members Wednesday.
The prisoner projections don’t bode well for criminal-justice activists intent on holding city officials to their earlier cap of 1,438 beds in the Orleans Parish Prison complex. That was the message from prison expert James Austin on Monday during a rare meeting of the Mayor’s Working Group on Criminal Justice at City Hall.
City Councilwoman Susan Guidry told The Lens recently that a major new jailhouse under discussion between the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Landrieu Administration was news – unwelcome news – to her. The “Phase III Concept” jail plan would add yet another FEMA-funded lockup to the Orleans Parish Prison campus, with between 600 and 650 jail beds being projected.
New Orleans criminal-justice reform advocates are lambasting a plan that would add up to 650 beds to the upgraded Orleans Parish Prison complex under construction along Perdido Street. The new jail would represent a departure from city officials’ pledges to keep the total number of inmates to 1,438.