After months of delays, the long-awaited transfer of hundreds of New Orleans jail inmates to a new, modern facility is underway.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman says the transfer of prisoners from the existing, dilapidated jail buildings to the new $150 million lockup would be complete by the end of the week.

Gusman has long said the new jail is a major step in bringing the notoriously dangerous jail, formally known as Orleans Parish Prison, in compliance with court-ordered reforms.

But the move comes amid continuing legal battles between Gusman and Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration. The city funds the jail and Landrieu is critical of Gusman's management, including his housing of convicted state prisoners while shipping pre-trial detainees to other jails because of a lack of space.