The Justice Department and the sheriff who runs the Orleans Parish Prison have reached an agreement on changes at the institution, where violence, suicides, unclean conditions and poor medical treatment are commonplace, said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the civil rights division. The department said on Monday that it sought to intervene in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of prisoners. Sheriff Marlin Gusman, who oversees the prison, supported the federal involvement, which set the stage for the negotiated changes. The next step toward a final settlement will be finding money to pay for the overhaul.
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