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Decade-Long Battle Against New Orleans Jail Annex Draws to a Close

It may be the nation’s longest-running fight against the construction of a jail. To anti-incarceration advocates in New Orleans, the now-inevitable construction of the 89-bed mental-health annex known as Phase III represents backsliding against the city’s post-Katrina reforms, when officials pledged to limit the city’s jail beds and try to keep mentally ill people out of jail whenever possible.

Nick Chrastil chronicles the decade-long battle for the Garrison Project, published in The Lens: “Mayors agreed to it, opposed it, agreed to it again, and opposed it again. Multiple working groups met to produce lengthy reports on it, and possible alternatives. ... It has been called a “glass hellscape” and the “goofiest thing.” Its price tag doubled. Judges have heard – and denied – at least three legal challenges to it in three years. Despite it all, pile-drivers are stationed at Perdido Street to start building it.”


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