NEW ORLEANS — The chief jailer in New Orleans says temporary tent structures used for years to hold inmates at the Orleans Parish Prison are being taken down.
Sheriff Marlin Gusman made the announcement Tuesday, saying the dismantling of the eight huge tents has begun and will continue over the next few months. Prisoners are being moved to other facilities at the jail campus and will eventually move to a new jail building that is nearing completion.
The parish jail has been the subject of intense criticism and lawsuits for years because of violence, unsanitary conditions and escapes. Gusman, who is facing former Sheriff Charles Foti in a runoff election next month, has been touting the facility that is under construction as a major step in fixing the jail system's many problems.
The tents have been used since 2006, months after Hurricane Katrina flooded much of the city, including the jail complex.
"In the years since Katrina's landfall, the tents were a necessary stopgap, but it is time for us to move forward," Gusman said in remarks prepared for a Tuesday news conference.