NEW ORLEANS, LA – Following is a statement from Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman regarding the relocation of inmates to various locations operated by the Louisiana Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections:
“In accordance with the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office Emergency Operations and Hurricane Preparedness Plan, approximately 835 inmates have been relocated to State Department of Public Safety and Corrections facilities and three are being released under the Declaration of Emergency."
These inmates are currently housed in the Orleans Justice Center, Temporary Detention Center and Temporary Mental Health Center. The evacuation began on Friday, Aug. 27 and was completed Saturday, Aug. 28. Our objective was to complete the transfer in the best interest of inmate safety and the public, prior to increased traffic on our highways, including the potential implementation of the State’s contraflow plan. Our electronic wristband system is in use as an extra level of security to ensure that we know the exact status and location of each inmate at all times.
In order to stay in-line with COVID-19 protocol during this evacuation, the 22 known COVID-19 positive inmates in our custody have been transported separately. They will remain segregated from the general population and Wellpath, our medical provider, is ensuring that these individuals have the care they need. Our remaining population is following all CDC and LDH COVID-19 guidelines.
We are grateful for the assistance and cooperation of our partners, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Task Force who helped facilitate these relocations.
We want to assure the citizens of Orleans Parish that we are prepared for this challenge. We conduct annual mock hurricane evacuations and review protocol with staff regularly to ensure that we are ready for whatever lies ahead. Deputies and staff of the Sheriff’s Office are on duty and working diligently for the duration of the storm in the interest of public safety.
The OPSO is on a ‘High Alert’ Status. We are continuing to monitor the track of Ida carefully and will continue to operate the Intake and Processing Center as long as conditions allow. Our deputies and staff continue to operate according to the security and housing protocols outlined in our High Alert procedures. We are in communication with the City, the Courts, the District Attorney and other authorities.
We will take additional actions as the situation develops over the coming days. The public can check our website at www.opso.us or call the Sheriff’s Office at 504-827-8536.”