NEW ORLEANS — Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman will seek re-election standing on a record of transforming the Orleans Parish Prison from a hodge-podge of 13 different, decaying, makeshift buildings into a modern, safe and smaller jail that is fiscally solvent and run by a professional workforce with nationally recognized re-entry programs to reduce repeat offenders.
Once bursting at the seams with more than 7500 beds, mostly occupied by state prisoners, Sheriff Gusman has built a facility that now contains 1432 beds and under 900 inmates on any given day, all monitored by more than 900 cameras. Additionally, the Sheriff successfully convinced voters to dedicate a stable source of funding to the parish jail which is now primarily a pre-trial facility.
Entry-level pay for deputy sheriffs has more than doubled under his tenure, an accredited high school offers diplomas to inmates, and various community service programs—from prison re-entry to a Crime Victims Assistance Program to a Day Reporting Center to reduce incarceration—are now offered.
“As Sheriff, I have ended the practice of warehousing state prisoners and with the help of a consent decree that demanded sufficient funding for the local jail, we instituted a transparent, accountable business model for the Orleans Justice Center, which opened six years ago as a modern, direct supervision facility,” said Sheriff Gusman.
Sheriff Gusman’s previous experience in local government is as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of New Orleans under Mayor Marc H. Morial, as a District Councilmember, and as the City of New Orleans Property Management Director under the late Mayor Ernest N. Morial. He said these experiences were useful in repositioning the jail as a transparent, safe and financially solvent public entity.
He is a graduate of the National Sheriffs Institute, a member of the Louisiana Sheriffs Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the American Correctional Association, the National Correctional Industries Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Following his graduation from Jesuit High School, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduated from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, and received his Law Degree from Loyola University. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in 1984 and completed the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
He actively works and advocates for programs to break the cycle of violence in New Orleans and offers various education and learning opportunities as well as anger management and behavioral health services to reduce recidivism.
Sheriff Gusman and his wife Renee have two children and five grandchildren, who regularly invade their Gentilly home. Read more about Sheriff Gusman and the Orleans Justice Center at www.opso.us. The primary election for his re-election is Saturday, October 9. Read more about his campaign at www.sheriffgusmancampaign.com.