Orleans Parish Prison - Photographs of Conditions After the Storms
Photographs of one Orleans Parish Prison building show the damage caused by inmates desperately attempting to escape the dangerous conditions within. These photographs were taken in the Community Correctional Center approximately six months after the storm; the Community Correctional Center is one of the buildings that has not yet been reopened by the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office. These images strongly rebut Sheriff Gusman's claims that deputies remained at their posts throughout the storm and its aftermath, and that prisoners in the facilities were never abandoned, but rather were regularly provided with food and water.
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During and after Hurricane Katrina, the buildings that make up Orleans Parish Prison descended into chaos.
Many prisoners and pre-trial detainees remained locked in their cells for days, without food, water, sanitation, or proper ventilation. In an effort to escape the deteriorating conditions in the Community Correctional Center, frantic prisoners broke through thick glass windows in the visitation booths, and used mattresses to cross through safely.
Prisoners broke through numerous solid concrete walls in the Community Correctional Center in order to find safety.
Prisoners knocked out a window on the third floor of the Community Correctional Center and used the mesh screen to climb onto the roof below; deputies report that prisoners were driven back into the building by other deputies in boats who were shooting bean bag guns at the prisoners.
In some buildings, prisoners hung signs out of the windows asking for help. Here, inmates appear to have painted a sign on a wall asking for help.