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Federal judge Lance Africk ordered the release of two videos Tuesday that were shown in conjunction with hearings over the consent decree at Orleans Parish Prison.

The two clips on this page show prisoners describing living conditions inside the prison.

NOTE: video is unedited and may contain material not suitable for children

landrieu – mitch“The videotape is outrageous. I have never seen anything like it.

“How can we make our city safe when prisoners are coming and going from jail as they please, walking freely on the streets and then returning to jail with heroin, cocaine, and loaded weapons?

“This tape was hidden away from the public in a safe in the Sheriff’s Office and only came to light when the City’s legal team fought to uncover it.

“In light of this disturbing evidence, we again request the Department of Justice join us in immediately putting a federal receiver in place to manage the jail.  It is now clearer than ever that the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office is not keeping the prison secure and our city safe.

“The people of the city are investing over $226 million to build new prison facilities and over $30 million each year in the taxpayer money to operate the jail.  I cannot in good conscience cut vital services or raise taxes to put even more money into an office where waste, fraud, and abuse run rampant. The only way to fix the problem is to put a federal receiver in place that will run a safe and secure jail in a financially responsible way.”

gusman, marlin sheriff(Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office) – Following is a statement from Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman regarding today’s testimony about the House of Detention in 2009 as part of the U.S. District Court’s Consent Decree hearing:

“I will be available to respond to media inquiries following the consent decree hearing, which is expected to be tomorrow afternoon. The Sheriff’s Office will notify the media regarding a specific time and location.

The House of Detention is a city-owned building in a state of disrepair and abhorrent lack of proper security measures. I closed the House of Detention last year because of these problems.

The House of Detention is an outdated building not suitable for today’s inmate supervision standards and security. Following Hurricane Katrina, we were forced to reopen the House of Detention to house inmates, because other inmate facilities were destroyed by the floods. It was never meant to be a long-term solution. In addition, we have been using eight temporary tents to house inmates. These facilities were never meant to be used this long for these purposes.”