OPP federal monitor to hold public meeting tonight with recently released inmates

By Naomi Martin, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
June 25, 2014 at 11:13 AM, updated June 25, 2014 at 3:01 PM

new orleans inmate release meetingDozens of inmates recently released from Orleans Parish Prison will participate in a public meeting Wednesday night with a federal court-appointed monitor overseeing changes at the troubled jail.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Hope House at 916 St. Andrew St. in the Irish Channel. It was arranged by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Voice of the Ex-Offender and the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition.

Several former inmates — men and women — will tell the monitor about their experiences behind bars and whether conditions have improved since October, when a federal court order took effect mandating an overhaul at the jail long notorious for violence, poor conditions and shoddy health care.

Families of inmates who died while in OPP custody also expected to attend the meeting.

The consent decree was approved in June 2013 by a federal judge and will last until the jail is found to be in compliance for two years in a row. Sheriff Marlin Gusman, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the U.S. Justice Department and inmates represented by the MacArthur Justice Center are all parties to the lawsuit.

Susan McCampbell, the lead monitor overseeing Gusman’s compliance and reporting on it to the judge, will be at the meeting.

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