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Statement Regarding Resident’s Action Inside the Orleans Justice Center

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
13 AUGUST 2022

Statement Regarding Resident’s Action Inside the Orleans Justice Center

NEW ORLEANS – On Friday, 12 August 2022, residents of the high-security pod inside the Orleans Justice Center (2E) barricaded themselves inside their pod. The residents provided OPSO jail staff with a letter asking for upgrades to their pod.

Sheriff's deputies have chosen to refrain from entering the pod and are continuing to employ deescalation techniques and negotiate with the residents for a resolution.

No one has been injured during this time and there have been no acts of violence amongst residents and/or staff.

Still photos from live surveillance footage released by OPSO showed the residents of the pod (with their faces blurred), in real-time, continuing their peaceful demonstration.

A similar action was commenced in a women's pod, but was quickly resolved.

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ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE UPDATES PUBLIC ON OJC RESIDENTIAL PROTEST

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 AUGUST 2022

ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE RELEASES STATEMENT ON RECENT STABBING INCIDENTS INSIDE THE ORLEANS JUSTICE CENTER

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Sheriff Susan Hutson provided an update to the public on the status of the protest inside one of the Orleans Justice Center's 24 pods where residents are held.

Residents of the high-security pod, 2E, continued their refusal to enter their cells and comply with OPSO commands to remove barricades from entryways to their pod. (2E is the same pod where three recent stabbings occurred) OPSO deputies have repeatedly offered the residents of the pod food and water – the residents have repeatedly refused to accept food or water. Food and water were offered on Saturday, 13 August 2022 at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m., and on Sunday, 14 August at 6:00 a.m., and 12:00 p.m.

Water access in 2E was revoked after the residents mixed soap with water and placed the mixture near the entryways of the pod. They also blocked the glass windows facing into the pod from the control modules where deputies secure the pod.

Medical teams attempted to distribute medication to residents who routinely take medication. Those attempts were refused.

Sheriff's deputies are continuing to employ best practices to deescalate the situation. They are engaging in negotiations with the residents in the hopes of resolving this matter without the use of force. So far, offers to resolve this matter have all been refused by the leaders of the protest.

OPSO released a request letter submitted by residents of 2E. Among their requests, they asked that a recent alternating lockdown schedule be changed. The schedule, which permits half the residents of 2E to be out of their cells at a given time, was implemented after three residents were stabbed in that pod over a five-day period. Other requests, such as requests for a "washer, dryer and kiosk", are likely due to residents breaking those machines to fashion weapons in the past.

OPSO also plans to release new video footage of the residents of 2E dancing and playing board games, along with time-stamped still images over the past 72 hours.

The remaining 23 pods of the Orleans Justice Center are operating within normal parameters.

In a statement, Sheriff Hutson said:

"I promised our community that we would reduce the use of force inside OJC and I intend to honor that promise. I also promised the staff of OJC, every deputy who puts their life on the line, that I would keep their safety and the safety of every resident – our community's family and our neighbors – as my top priority, and I will do that too. I have instructed my team to use best practices to deescalate and resolve this matter without the use of force. It is unfortunate that some of the residents of one of our 24 pods are using this moment to paint a false picture for the media – but we have a process for any grievance or complaint to be heard and addressed and that process must be followed by everyone inside OJC. In releasing this information today, including the letter, video, and photographs, I am keeping my commitment to be transparent about what is happening inside our jail. My team and I will provide regular updates if the situation changes. - Sheriff Susan Hutson

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ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS CONDUCT OPERATION TO END STANDOFF WITH OJC RESIDENTS IN HIGH-SECURITY POD

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 AUGUST 2022

ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS CONDUCT OPERATION TO END STANDOFF WITH OJC RESIDENTS IN HIGH-SECURITY POD

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office and the Louisiana Department of Corrections conducted a joint operation to end what had been a nonviolent protest with residents of the high-level security pod inside the Orleans Justice Center.

The decision was made to enter the pod after residents triggered the sprinkler system and started to flood the pod. The operation began at, approximately, 8:38 p.m. Six residents were immediately removed from OJC and will be transported to a DOC maximum-security facility.

Since Friday, residents of the high-security pod, 2E, had refused to enter their cells and comply with OPSO commands to remove barricades from entryways to their pod.

Sheriff's deputies had employed best practices throughout the standoff and used every opportunity to deescalate the situation and not use force. Attempts by OPSO negotiators to defuse the situation were consistently rebuffed by resident leaders on the pod.

All residents were screened by WellPath for injuries and we will update the community on any injuries sustained and provide a detailed report.

Sheriff Hutson thanks Louisiana Secretary of Corrections, James Le Blanc, and Warden Tim Hooper for their assistance.

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ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE RELEASES STATEMENT ON RECENT STABBING INCIDENTS INSIDE THE ORLEANS JUSTICE CENTER

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4 AUGUST 2022
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ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE RELEASES STATEMENT ON RECENT STABBING INCIDENTS INSIDE THE ORLEANS JUSTICE CENTER

NEW ORLEANS – Today, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office released details on four stabbing events that occurred over the past eight days.

  1. 28 July 2022 - A male resident was stabbed during an altercation inside one of the pods. He was transported to University Medical Center where he was treated and later returned to OJC and was moved to a different pod.
  2. 31 July 2022 - A second male resident was stabbed during an altercation inside one of the pods. He was transported to University Medical Center where he was treated and later returned to OJC and was moved to a different pod.
  3. 2 August 2022 - A third male resident was stabbed during an altercation inside one of the pods. His injuries did not require off-site medical treatment. Instead, he received proper medical care inside OJC. After his treatment, he was moved to a different pod.
  4. 3 August 2022 - A fourth male resident was stabbed during an altercation inside one of the pods. He was transported to University Medical Center where he was treated and later returned to OJC and was moved to a different pod.

The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office will not, at this time, release the names or other identifying details about the victims. None of the sustained injuries were life-threatening.

Full investigations are being conducted by the Investigative Services Bureau (ISB), under the leadership of Asst. Sheriff Kristen Morales. All involved perpetrators will be charged, accordingly. Further details will be released once ISB has conducted its investigation.

Search and Confiscation of Contraband (weapons)

The Investigative Services Bureau, under the leadership of Asst. Sheriff Kristen Morales, is conducting a thorough investigation of the pods where the incidents occurred. Any contraband (weapons such as shanks, knives, etc.) will be confiscated and residents found to have them in their possession will face additional charges.

Statement from Sheriff Susan Hutson

"Our city is facing a surge in violent crime - that fact is just as true inside the Orleans Justice Center as it is in neighborhoods throughout our city. The safety of residents and staff in OJC is my top priority. I have instructed every person entering the jail to be screened using newly installed, state-of-the-art body scanners. Additionally, security rounds have been increased and we have dramatically reduced the number of jail residents who are permitted to be out at any given time to help ensure the safety of both staff and residents. I remain committed to the promises I made when I began serving as Sheriff just over three months ago; we are working hard to implement the changes I was elected to make. I ask for our community's continued engagement and assistance as we lay the foundation to undo decades of systemic damage done to our criminal legal system. - Sheriff Susan Hutson

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SHERIFF SUSAN HUTSON RELEASES STATEMENT SUPPORTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7 JULY 2022

SHERIFF SUSAN HUTSON RELEASES STATEMENT SUPPORTING WOMEN’S RIGHTS

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Sheriff Susan Hutson announced that she will not accept any persons into custody at the Orleans Justice Center who are arrested for allegedly violating ACT 545, the 2006 "trigger law", for seeking or performing reproductive healthcare services.

The Sheriff's announcement tightens the circle of protection from arrest, prosecution, and incarceration for women and medical professionals who seek or provide reproductive healthcare services, including abortion-related healthcare treatments.

"Our community elected me to bring progressive change to our jail, not to bring us back to the days before Roe v. Wade. I stand with our District Attorney and City Council in saying we will not use the limited resources of our offices to criminalize a women's right to choose or a physician's duty of care."

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