Voter's Guide, 2021 Fall Elections, New Orleans
Position Sheriff
NameMarlin N Gusman

Contact Information

Contact PersonCandidate
Candidate Phone504 42 6270
Candidate ManagerRon Nabonne
Campaign Manager's Phone504 234 0600
Campaign Manager's

Campaign Information

Campaign Web Site

Bio Information

Party AffiliationDemocrat
ProfessionSheriff of Orleans Parish
Present Employer / positionIncumbent
Length of residence in Jurisdictionlifelong
List of educational institutions and degreesSheriff Gusman attended the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Finance and Commerce, where he earned both a Bachelor of Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts. He earned his Juris Doctor from Loyola University and was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in 1984. He successfully completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Graduate, National Sheriffs' Institute
Prior elected and appointed positions• City Councilmember, District D, 2000-2004
• Chief Administrative Officer under Mayor Marc H. Morial
• Director, Property Management under the late Mayor Ernest N. Morial

Elected Criminal Sheriff first in 2004; Elected to new merged Criminal and Civil Sheriff in 2010 after Legislative mandate changed position's scope; runs for re-election every 4 years
Civic involvement and affiliationsHe is a member and past President of the Regional Loan Corporation, a member of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, and has served on the Board for Boys Town of Louisiana, YMCA, and several other local social service and non-profit organizations.
• National Sheriffs' Association
• Louisiana Sheriffs' Association
• National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
• American Correctional Association
• National Correctional Industries Association
• International Association of Chiefs of Police

Questions specific to the position

1. Do you support expanding the mental health facilities at the jail? Yes, it is part of the 2013 consent decree and has been upheld by the federal courts as required to provide constitutional care.

My opponents have tried to make this a political issue and I find that to be deeply disingenuous. This isn't a political issue- it's a human issue.

The State of Louisiana purposely chose not to include an adequate, secure mental health unit for the appropriate care of these types of inmates at University Medical Center which replaced Charity Hospital. We have a legal requirement and moral obligation to provide for the appropriate, humane and dignified care, custody and control of these individuals.

Moreover, this issue has already been litigated and we are required by the federal court to build a mental health and medical facility that meets constitutional standards and best practices. In addition, this facility is FEMA funded.

This isn't a game. This is a question of whether we, as a community, want a safe, humane place for those in crisis who pose a risk to themselves and those around them.
2. What would be the adequate staffing of mental health professionals at the jail? It is an 89-bed facility, including an infirmary, to house in separate wings the acute mentally ill. The facility will be led by OPSO Facilities Director Isidore Marshall, Wellpath Director Andrea Blake and Dr. Jeffrey Rouse, Tulane Mental Health. The unit will utilize the RISE Program of rehabilitation, which seeks to reduce the length of stay in this unit below 90 days.
3. What qualifications and training should be required of deputy sheriffs? OPSO shall ensure that all correctional officers are knowledgeable of and have the understanding, skills, and abilities to stricty comply with use of force policies and procedures. At a minimum, OPSO shall provide correctional officers with pre-service and annual in- service training in use of force, defensive tactics, and use of force policies and procedures. The training will include the following:(1) instruction on what constitutes excessive force;(2) de-escalation tactics; and (3) management of prisoners with mental illness to limit the need for using force.
4. Are salaries adequate to attract and keep competent deputies? Since taking office, I have doubled the entry-level pay of deputies and believe that yes, $15/hour is an adequate starting wage.