September 02, 2005

In New Orleans, Criminals Get Out First


Hurricane Katrina's Harsh Sentence

Orleans Prison Riot

Several people have commented on previous posts that they are looking for relatives that were either guards or prisoners at Orleans Parish prison, the central prison in New Orleans located approximately one mile northwest of the Louisiana Superdome. I decided to try to find out what I could to help them. What I found instead made me ill.

Orleans Parish Prison

I cannot tell you about the location of individual prisoners and guards, but I can pass along the following:

  • Rumors of rioting and hostage-taking among the prisoners are false.
  • At this time, no prisoner is confirmed among the known fatalities.
  • At this time, no guard is confirmed among the known fatailties.
  • More than 7,600 OPP inmates were scheduled to be completely evacuated from New Orleans as of September 1 (yesterday).
  • Inmates are housed throughout the Louisiana Prison system, except for Washington Correctional Institute near Angie, which was damaged in Hurricane Katrina.

It is quite possible, even probable, that all prisoners have been evacuated from New Orleans by this time.

It is unexplained why these 7,600 prisoners got out well in advance of citizens a mile away who are dying by the hour at the Superdome, in beseiged hospitals, and elsewhere throughout New Orleans.

For more information:

Inmate evacuees arrive in area
Storm prompts massive transfer of inmates
South Louisiana inmates bound for lockup in Bossier Parish
Prisoners, public school students displaced by Katrina

Update: CNN's Hurricane Safe List. Those who got it out so far and who have been able to contact CNN or other agencies.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 2, 2005 09:09 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for your relieving information. Could you please tell me who to contact to obtain information about my Dad (Thai DANG) working at the Orleans Parish Prison. His last contact with the family was on 29 Aug. Thanks.

Posted by: Dang at September 3, 2005 05:43 AM

Actually shouldn't the prisoners have been evacuated when the mayor made it mandatory? Seems incompetence not to have accomplished that before the storm hit.

Posted by: Brainster at September 3, 2005 11:40 AM

Thank you for the info. My son in law, wife, and 4 children were taking refuge there. If you know where I can find more information please let me know. Looking for Deputy Michael Chatellier, Jennifer and children, Eric, Sydney, Dylan and Amanda.

Posted by: DebStone at September 3, 2005 12:16 PM

My dad , Medric Barrilleaux , is a maintainence sheriffs dep. @ OPP . We have been trying for days to find out info. on the evac. of employees , which is no where to be found ! we all know the prisoners have been taken away but NO news about the EMPLOYEES is shamefull . I guess the next step is the media and see if they will broadcast results . GOD BLESS US ALL !

Posted by: Chris Barrilleaux at September 3, 2005 01:37 PM

The reason the prisoners were transferred in a timely manner is because, unlike the mayor and the governor, not only did the Department of Corrections have an emergency plan, they followed it.
Blaming the employees of the system for doing what they were trained and prepared to do is flat wrong.

Posted by: Mell at September 3, 2005 08:05 PM

Are you certain, Mell? My interest in the situation began because Mayor Nagan has no clue what was going on with the prisoners, and they obviously did not follow a preemptive diasater plan, as they did not start moving out prisoners until the prison was rapidly filling with water.

The guards and inmates families did not know anything about a scheduled evactuation; as you can see many have come to this site trying to try to find where they are.

If you are a member of the Louisiana Prison system and can help these folks, please do. If not, I'll chalk your comments up to idle speculation unless you can provide a source.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 3, 2005 08:34 PM

majority of the deputies were evacuated to the Evergreen Lions Hall in Houma, La. That is where i last saw Chatiler and his family and i think Dang was also there!

Posted by: TGM at September 4, 2005 10:32 PM

I will have to say that the whole situation in NOLA is a problem. Many are angry that if it is true that prisoners were out before the others that have been splashed all over the news. I feel that every HUMAN in that city ,the stranded,prisoners,anyone had the need to be taken out as soon as possible. this is not a pissing contest on who gets out first.I say this in fear & in anger because I am looking for one of those PRISONERS that was taken in on sat. afternoon (day of evacuation)for an unpaid traffic ticket.This is personal for many and we all want an answere but for now I would be happy to just know that he is safe and how to find him.He is not a criminal that didn't deserve evacuation and contact w/ his loved ones, he just liked to drive to fast and forgot about a ticket.If there is any info on contact or #'s to call , PLEASE RESPOND ( bless and best wishes to all of you looking for a loved one

Posted by: Treasure Bauer at September 6, 2005 10:31 AM

I am lookin for a male that was in the Orleans Parish Prison. He was supposed to come home a day before the storm hit and I was concerned because he wasn't released and now who knows when he will be able to come home. However, he did call to let me know of his where abouts and to let me know he was ok but that still isn't the point. The point is why wasn't he released. I believe that the man in charge of the prison was going to let the inmates stay because they just bringing them to the next floor.I mean anybody in their right mind would panic after seeing the water continually rise and no one is doing anything. So the inmates knew they weren't doing anything so they did what was necessary to be notice by somebody that could help them out. So I believe that if that had not been done they would still be there and half if not al would be dead.

Posted by: Schalana Dunbar at September 6, 2005 03:47 PM

You all should be darn glad that the inmates got out in an orderly and controlled manner!!!! Sheesh what is everybody complaining about- do you want them loose on the streets for heavens sakes!! I swear, I can not BELIEVE the criticism that is going on! Where are the success and rescue stories, that would encourage me to give. I HATE HATE HATE it when our media continually spews blame for the heros out there doing the rescuing! Constantly whining "it's your fault, you didn't do enough soon enough". Where is the spirit of personal responsibility and personal determinism that made this country great???? I say it is being slowly killed over and over again with each new disaster that the goverment is supposed to miraculously clean up so that no one is ever hurt ever again. Blame, blame, blame, sue, sue, sue! And we will all end up morally crippled and dependent on our big brother goverment.

Posted by: Utterly Amazed at September 7, 2005 01:20 PM


Do you see anyone upset that the prisoners got out safely? I don't. Some just wonder why these people, mostly convicted adults in good health, were evacuated before the ill, the elderly, and the children at the Superdome just a mile away.

I don't think anyone could or should fault the warden for doing his job and protecting those under his responsibility. He did exactly what he should have done. I appaud his work at keeping over 7,000 people safe.

The thing is, it seems like he might have been the only competent person in state or local government. The prisoners were guarded and safe on a highway overpass: shouldn't the governor have evacuated the most needy at the Superdome first? She didn't, and people might have died as a result.

That is why some people, including me, are upset. We aren't upset that the prisoners were saved. we're upset that the prisoners could have been saved in the second round of evacations, and that those with medical needs should have been the first New Orleans residents out.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 7, 2005 01:56 PM

I live in Ontario ,Canada and have a friend who is in a immergration camp in louisiana,have no knowledge of where and how many are located with in the state.What happened to them if they where in the direct path.if the dpartment of corrections followed through with there game plan why is there absolutly no information on how to find these individuals,like my friend!

Posted by: frustrated canadian at September 9, 2005 03:28 PM

Why can't he be contacted?

As a Canadian, you must not be able to understand what happened here, physically.

An area just slightly smaller than Great Britain was levelled by a hurricane of epic proportions. The energy expended by Katrina was the equivalent of a minimum of a DOZEN (or more) atomic bombs the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

As you might imagine, with thousands dead and missing, restoring nonessential phone lines to otherwise secure places like prisons is an understandably low priority right now. Your friend is likely safe, but pardon us if we concentrate now on those of our citizens who are here legally.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at September 9, 2005 04:20 PM

Yes, i am canadian and proud to be.I believe i can talk on behalf of all canadians we understand the mass distruction and devistation this storm produced, and we feel and pry for the best out come possible for eveyone effected by it.I am not trying to belittle any one just tryin to understand why it is so hard for us to locate these individuals legal or illegal.

Posted by: frustrated canadian at September 9, 2005 04:38 PM

I am concerned about my husband and kid's father who was incararated at o.p.p. doing katrina. his name is sean michael cassimere, 5\21\1985/. I love you baboska and I am here for you still,your kids and I are okay . We love you

Posted by: robin marie turner at September 18, 2005 07:32 PM

everyone can find there love one who is in custody at the website

Posted by: baby girl at September 27, 2005 05:46 AM


Posted by: CHERYL at October 29, 2005 09:51 PM