City presents jail renovation plan to council committee as an alternative to new mental health facility
At a meeting of the New Orleans City Council’s Criminal Justice Committee last week, city officials presented the most detailed look yet at plans to retrofit a single floor of the New Orleans jail in order to create a suitable space to house detainees with acute and subacute mental illness — and to avoid the construction of a controversial new 89-bed jail facility known as Phase III.
The meeting on Thursday also signaled a shift in thinking by members of the City Council — in particular City Council President and District Attorney candidate Jason Williams — who in 2017 voted to move forward with the Phase III building and declined to advance the possibility of a retrofit option. Williams, at the time, called the Phase III facility a “moral obligation.”
The only member of the City Council to vote against moving forward with Phase III in 2017 was LaToya Cantrell,