- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu asks the governor to pull state inmates from Orleans Parish Prison, saying that could save tens of millions of dollars on a new jail.

The jail holds about 380 state inmates, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office told The New Orleans Advocate (https://bit.ly/1AXsVEt).

The sheriff’s office was paid $6.7 million last year to house state inmates, NOLA.comThe Times-Picayune (https://bit.ly/1wXEmOZ) reported.

The mayor “should work with the sheriff on this local issue,” State Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc told the Advocate. He said officials will review Landrieu’s request.

Landrieu and Sheriff Marlin Gusman have been at loggerheads over a federal settlement of lawsuits saying the jail is filthy and unsafe. The city must pay for the changes but was not part of settlement talks.

The number of state inmates has been cut from more than 1,000 to about 350 since 2011, LeBlanc said in a letter to The New Orleans Advocate.

Gusman said the state inmates are part of a successful re-entry program that saves the city money in the long run. He told the Advocate that meals at the jail would cost more than $1.75 instead of the current $1 without state prisoners working in the kitchen. State inmates’ community services, range from picking up trash to helping the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office in death investigations, he said.

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