NEW ORLEANS - District "B" Councilmember Jay H. Banks has released the following statement regarding Zoning Docket 105/19 to reduce caps on the inmate population and authorize the creation of temporary housing for special inmate populations:
"After discussions with the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office and numerous prison reform advocates, my office is proposing several amendments to Sheriff Marlin Gusman's conditional use request (ZD 105/19) to house inmates with mental health conditions in the Orleans Justice Center's Temporary Detention Center.
We are reducing the overall inmate cap of the Orleans Justice Center to 1,250 inmates from the 1,438-bed cap first approved in 2011. This progressive step forward is the product of advocacy, planning, and compromise from all stakeholders. Moreover, the dedicated space provides a safe environment for the men and women who cannot be placed within the jails' regular population.
Of equal importance, this plan allows the City to continue planning for the humane, constitutionally-appropriate permanent housing of inmates with acute and sub-acute mental health conditions.
Working together, we've created a realistic way to adhere to federal court orders while significantly reducing the jail's inmate cap. Together, we can continue to improve the health and safety of all inmates."
The Council is set to vote on the zoning docket at approximately 1 p.m. during today's regular meeting. For more information or to view the full meeting agenda, visit council.nola.gov.
Jenna D. Burke, Director of Land Use
Office of District "B" Councilmember Jay H. Banks