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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Racial Justice
New Orleans Residents say no to building a mental health jail add on.
On Thursday May 11, 2017 - New Orleans residents opposed to jail expansion and criminalizing mentally ill people voiced their concerns at a City Council Criminal Justice Committee hearing.
New Orleans is the world's most incarcerated cities and has struggled for years to reduce it's jail population. While the City and residents had reached an agreement a few years ago to cap the jail size at 1,438 beds, 2 new proposals on the table would increase the number of beds by about 300. Approximately 100 of those beds are slated specifically for inmates who have difficult to treat mental illnesses.
A recent article published in the Times Picayune describes the many challenges that would need to be overcome in order to provide appropriate care to mentally ill inmates. "1 in 3 New Orleans inmates take mental health drugs, jail monitors say": http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2017/05/1_in_3_new_orleans_inmates_tak.html#incart_2box_nola_river_orleans_news
Those who attended the meeting in the City Council Chamber heard the proposals and then weighed in. Their voices are captured in the selected audio that has been edited down to 30:30.
Note: The full 2hr38min video is available for viewing here: http://cityofno.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=2637