Officials with Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office told the City Council last week that they’ve cut costs at the city’s jail to deal with this year’s decrease in city funding. They mentioned little, however, about the additional $4 million they want the city to kick in to finance a new plan to house mentally ill inmates — a key issue in the federal consent decree mandating reforms at Orleans Parish Prison.

Gusman wants to house as many as 44 male inmates with serious mental illnesses at a state prison in St. Gabriel for up to three years. He also wants to renovate two buildings at Orleans Parish Prison for inmates with less serious conditions, one for men and one for women.

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