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Jail expert: New Orleans inmates should be transferred if new facility isn't ready next month

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NEW ORLEANS — The monitor overseeing reforms at the New Orleans jail says inmates should be moved into more humane settings if the city's long-awaited new jail building does not open soon.

Multiple media outlets report that court-appointed expert Susan McCampbell told a federal judge during a hearing Thursday that most Orleans Parish Prison inmates are being housed in decrepit buildings. She suggested that the parish transfer inmates to other parishes if the new jail does not open by a Sept. 15 deadline.

Members of McCampbell's monitoring team lauded some improvements to medical care for inmates, but they emphasized how outdated or poorly designed buildings contributed to the violence and filth inside the jail.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman has said he hopes a 1,438-bed facility, once expected to open in January 2014, would open on Sept. 15.

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