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SHERIFF SUSAN HUTSON MEETS WITH NEW ORLEANS CITY COUNCIL’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 JUNE 2022

SHERIFF SUSAN HUTSON MEETS WITH NEW ORLEANS CITY COUNCIL’S CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE

UPDATED STATEMENT

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson met with members of the New Orleans City Council's Criminal Justice Committee. The Sheriff, along with members of her Executive Team, briefed the Committee on the staffing crisis at the Orleans Justice Center, the initial progress made on compliance with the Consent Decree, long-term staffing and recruitment plans, and more.

Sheriff Hutson emphasized her commitment to prioritizing the safety of every life under her care. To show the seriousness of the staffing issues inside the jail, Sheriff Hutson invited the Committee to view the footage of the recent deaths that occurred, but warned them " . . . it is hard to watch, but our community elected us to handle the hard, tough crisis that arise." Sheriff Hutson also invited the full Council to personally tour the jail and see, firsthand, the immediate needs and areas that require retrofitting to provide safety.

The Committee was also informed by members of the OPSO Administration that new x-ray machines and body scanners would be installed over the coming weeks, and that reserve deputies had been deployed to increase security. OPSO's pay scales and promotional practices are currently under review and Sheriff Hutson is committed to increasing pay, both to benefit recruitment and retention.

Sheriff Hutson also informed the committee that over 100 residents of OJC were supposed to be transferred out of the facility and placed with the Department of Corrections and that she has met with DOC leadership and has already transferred nearly 50 residents. Over the next two weeks, Sheriff Hutson projects all persons who should be in custody with DOC will have been transferred from OJC to DOC.

Sheriff Hutson committed to continue to have public conversations to hear from the community and other actors in the Criminal Legal System to address jail operations, court security, and public safety.

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