St Tammany Jail Dodges Consent Decree
The St. Tammany Parish Jail will avoid entering into a consent decree with the federal government. In 2011, the Department of Justice began reviewing the jail following complaints over how it was operated.
Last year, the feds began the process of creating a court-enforceable consent decree addressing a number of issues at the jail including inmate housing, access to medical care, mental health needs, and suicide prevention.
In July of 2012, the parish convinced the DOJ that all of the appropriate changes were already in the works.
Now the feds have opted to sign a memorandum of agreement with the parish rather than move forward with a consent decree.
In a statement detailing the feds’ decision, St Tammany Parish President Pat Brister calls the jail’s changes logical and reasonable. Sheriff Jack Strain adds that the parish was able to prove that the jail was being operated in a professional manner which led to the DOJ’s rare retreat from a consent decree.