Orleans Parish is the most populous in all of Louisiana, and is home to the eighth largest correctional facility in the nation. There is a heavily contested plan to build a new 89-bed jail facility on Perdido Street to treat people with mental health problems. Studies have found that incarceration can worsen mental illness, and that investing in treating people in their communities can be an effective alternative.
The proposed new jail would cost taxpayers at least $51 million to build. An alternative to the new jail is a plan proposed by the City Council to improve the current jail to meet the needs of people with mental health conditions, which would cost taxpayers significantly less – $9 million.
In addition, under the policy of the current sheriff, people in custody do not get free phone calls. Families spend millions of dollars on phone calls to and from incarcerated people in Louisiana. Charging fees for all phone calls makes it difficult to maintain family and community bonds and burdens families that do not have the financial means to afford these calls.
The ACLU does not endorse or oppose individual candidates, but we urge you to make an informed decision in this critical election. Election Day is December 11th.
The ACLU does not endorse or oppose candidates. Paid for by American Civil Liberties Union Inc., Anthony Romero, Executive Director, 125 Broad Street, New York, New York 10004, www.aclu.org, 212-549-2500, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.