NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, the City of New Orleans requested a modification of prior court orders and is seeking to suspend the programming, design and construction of a new Phase III of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO) jail facility.
“This administration is focused on making decisions that take into account all of the relevant factors when it comes to committing City resources, and doing what is right for all of our people. We have to meet the many challenges being presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as address our community’s call for reform. We believe this action meets both challenges,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
“Considering the financial constraints of the City, a significantly reduced and declining jail population, and the ability to meet constitutional standards in current facilities, a modification of previously issues court orders has been requested to indefinitely suspend the programming, design, and construction of Phase III, as appropriate and prudent,” City Attorney Sunni LeBeouf wrote in the City’s filing.
The filing also notes that this request will have no impact on OPSO’s ability to meet consent decree mandates as specifically described in the Consent Decree. Under those terms, the City is not required to build yet another new jail facility. The City remains committed to all reform efforts.