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Inmates Moved to New Orleans Parish Prison

After nearly 80 years, the new Orleans Parish Jail Complex has finally opened. Inmates at Orleans Parish Prison are finally starting to get shuttled and moved to the new jail at the brand new inmate housing facility. The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and the City of New Orleans have been working hard on this complex for the last 10 years, costing upwards of $150 million, most of which came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). All inmates were supposed to have been transferred by Friday, September 18th.

Details About the New OPP

The new prison facility is located within the Sheriff’s Office correctional complex right off Perdido Street. It is more than 400,000 square feet in size and is replacing two old facilities that were demolished in 2007 due to damage from Hurricane Katrina, in addition to the temporary housing facilities that have been being use since the storm. Another important piece of information to point out is the number of cameras throughout the facility – there are 900 cameras and according to OPSO Chief Deputy Jerry Usin, “There are no blind spots.” The facility should house up to 1,438 inmates, has two courtrooms, a medical clinic, a computer lab, and a permanent intake and processing center.

Orleans Parish Prison Safety & Standards

With the new facility, the Sheriff’s Office and the City boasts that there won’t be any escapes due to the increase in security measures and physical structure of the facility. The jail is actually smaller, but safer and “definitely better,” according to Sheriff Marlin Gusman. Sadly, inmates who are mentally ill cannot stay in this jail because the conditions are not considered to be satisfactory. All of those inmates are currently being kept at a prison in Baton Rouge.

Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office vs. City of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans and the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office had a long, drawn out legal battle over the housing standards of OPP inmates, which delayed the opening of this facility. The City ultimately ended up giving a temporary permit to the OPSO in early September and that is why the process of transferring inmates has finally begun. A lot of the temporary facility and old facility standards were sub-par and moving inmates to this new facility was at the top of the list for the OPSO. The City & OPSO have been battling for a while about how to pay for the facility and the actual size of the expansion. Because there are roughly 1,800 inmates currently housed at OPP, OPSO Sherriff Gusman actually transferred 180 OPP prisoners last Thursday to a different jail four hours away. The new facility simply does not have enough room.

Crowded Jails | Will OPP Inmates See Early Release?

The City of New Orleans is under fire because OPP is overpopulated and the new facility has fewer beds for individuals who are waiting for trial. Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin is pushing for the Sheriff to turn the nearly 300 state inmates back over to the Department of Corrections because they prohibit the introduction of new Parish and City arrestees. It has become a logistical and financial nightmare for Orleans Parish and Louisiana. All in all, once all inmates are transferred over to the new jail building and the Temporary Detention Center (scheduled to close in 2017), since the Temporary Detention Center and the new facility claim to have nearly 1,900 beds, experts are saying that there really is only room for around 1,600 inmates, causing a dilemma. With all the new marijuana laws in Louisiana, there is a small possibility that some inmates may seek early release.

If you have a family member in Orleans Parish Prison, Hire a Lawyer

Many people who are in Orleans Parish Prison are held for non-violent offenses, which are subject to inexpensive and even free bonds. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help negotiate the release of your loved ones from prison during the period before their trial. If your family member has been wrongfully sent to another parish while awaiting trial in New Orleans, a skillful attorney can ask the judge to order the defendant to remain in New Orleans before trial. Crescent City Law has attorneys on staff who are available 24 hours a day to help. Please call (504) 264-9492 or contact us through our website.

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