NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Tense moments arise inside the Orleans Parish Justice Center following a growing number of incidents between inmates and supervisors on Friday, Sept. 15.
“There were a series of fires set in one of the pods. They were also a stabbing on the same tier. There were also some residents that were throwing fecal matter and waste on our deputies,” says Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Casey McGee.
As a result of the following incidents, four jail supervisors walked out during their shift. They did later return to work to share their concerns with Sheriff Susan Hutson.
Despite concerns from jail supervisors, neighbors near the facility say more needs to be done to protect the guards.
“They need more pay and more people because you know they don’t have that many workers back there,” says a neighbor.
McGee says now that deputy’s pay starts at $18 an hour, staff has increased to 702 and the number of inmates is capped at 1,250.
“In the past week, our number has gotten to up to about 1,139. So, we are working with our partners in the criminal justice system to make sure these cases are being moved out and we are clearing the facility,” says McGee.
However, news of what’s going on inside the jail is still a high concern for nearby residents.
“I don’t feel safe if they are acting crazy like that, I have a wife. Maybe two or three get out, you’re not really safe, you don’t know which house they are going to knock at,” says nearby resident Robert Zeno.
McGee says neighbors can rest assured that will not happen especially as the year continues and the number of staff rises.
“There are so many security measures that are in place to ensure no one ever gets out of the facility. We will continue to operate effectively so that the system will continue to operate effectively,” says McGee.
Currently, the staffing number for the facility stands at about 250 so far this year.