The New Orleans sheriff says his department is doing a good job improving the city's jail and should get more time rather than face a federal takeover.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman's management of the jail has come under harsh scrutiny by the Justice Department. Last week, the department and lawyers for inmates asked a court to appoint a third party to operate the long-troubled jail, saying new leadership is essential because Gusman has for years failed to improve conditions that endanger inmates.

Gusman said Monday he thinks it's unreasonable for the Department of Justice to expect complete perfection in only two years when he is overhauling a system that was broken for 30 years before he became sheriff.