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ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE CONFIRMS NO REMAINING COVID-19 INMATE CASES IN ORLEANS JUSTICE CENTER

NEW ORLEANS - Updated 06-18-2020

For a chart on the progression of inmate cases since May, click here.

As of Friday, June 12, we are pleased to report there are no known positive cases of COVID-19 among the inmate population currently in the custody of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office. This was achieved through an aggressive screening and testing process in partnership with Tulane University, a strict protocol to segregate positive and potentially positive cases from other inmates, efforts to educate inmates and staff on prevention methods and a detailed treatment plan.

"Our staff, medical provider and partners have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to navigate this very challenging and unpredictable situation," said Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, who also expressed his deep regret that three employees passed away due to the coronavirus. "Our thoughts are with the families of our fallen coworkers and everyone that has been impacted in some way throughout this time," he said.

Despite the loss, Sheriff Gusman said the Sheriff's Office will remain vigilant against the virus. "Of course, we will continue to do our testing as we get new inmates in our custody every day. We will also continue with the testing of our staff and contractors who leave and return to work every day. We still have a long road, but I am confident in our ability to overcome what lies ahead."

Among OPSO staffers, including medical personnel, the number of positive COVID-19 cases has decreased drastically. Currently, 13 OPSO employees have tested positive and are quarantined in their homes. At the height of the pandemic, 94 inmates and 74 staff members were positive for the virus. To date, more than 1,174 inmates and 877 employees have been tested.

The decision to test all employees, contractors and inmates has set the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office apart from agencies across the country, said Dr. Robert Garry, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane University, which was instrumental in helping the Sheriff's Office ramp up its testing capabilities. "What the Sheriff's Office is doing is instructive for correctional facilities as well as hospitals and long-term care facilities. The experience at OPSO in this first phase of COVID-19 testing will provide guidance for others in our community and communities across the country," Dr. Garry said.

"When COVID-19 first emerged, we recognized that correction centers like ours were extremely vulnerable which is why we acted as quickly as possible to protect our inmates, staff and the New Orleans community," said Independent Compliance Director for OPSO Darnley R. Hodge, Sr.

OPSO's leadership and medical team are working to evaluate the organization's testing process thus far and making plans to conduct phase two testing. In keeping with phase one, all individuals who enter the building will continue to be screened and denied access at the discretion of medical personnel based on screening results. In an effort to remain transparent, OPSO will continue to keep the public informed on the status of COVID-19 within its facilities.

To view OPSO’s previous COVID-19 updates and actions toward prevention, click here.


 

A Statement from Sheriff Gusman

NEW ORLEANS - 06-12-2020

To: All Deputies, Staff, and Contractors

Demonstrations and protests against the unequal treatment of Black Americans continue as our city, country, and the world respond to the mistreatment and killing of Black Americans in police custody, in particular the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of a former Minneapolis police officer who has been charged with murder. All of us at the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office must remember and honor our oath to protect and defend the rights and privileges of all of the citizens we serve regardless of the color of their skin.

The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is committed to the equal protection of individual rights and freedoms. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Over 87% of our staff are Black Americans, so this is an issue that we have confronted as adolescents, as teenagers, as young men and women, as members of law enforcement, and as parents. It is critically important that we accept our personal responsibility to prevent injustice and protect those who are defenseless to ensure that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

We are on the frontline of combating the institutional racism that spawned the inequities that are present in the American justice system. Each and every day we must commit ourselves to be a part of the solution and support the rights of those in our community and those in our care and custody especially those exercising their First Amendment right to "peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is committed to addressing injustice through initiatives such as The Travis Hill School, hiring more social workers and mental health counselors, improving access to voting rights for ex-offenders, reducing recidivism through re-entry and discharge planning, expanding the transitional work program, and instituting modern correctional practices such as direct supervision in our facilities.

Let us all unite and commit our resolve to ensuring that the rights of all citizens of the United States of America are protected equally so we may all realize and enjoy those inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman


 

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For the latest and most accurate information on our public bids, please access the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office on www.centralbidding.com.There is...

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If you have a medical question about an inmate, call the Medical Inmate Advocate at 504-202-9451.

The Medical Inmate Advocate is an experienced OPSO nurse who will investigate your concern and call you back. If you wish to provide medical information about an inmate, call the Medical Inmate Advocate. Medical confidentiality is maintained, but your concerns will be addressed.

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All family, friends, and attorneys should report immediately any information about inmate-against-inmate sexual abuse, sexual harassment or staff-against-inmate sexual relationships, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.  Help the OPSO promote sexual safety and report these incidents confidentially to our sexual abuse hotline:


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Programs for Public Benefit

Young Marines

The OPSO chapter of the Young Marines is in partnership with the national Young Marines program. Youth under the age of 18 enroll for drill, games, field trips, and education.

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West Bank Major Crime Taskforce

Deputies assigned to this task force focusing on major crimes and narcotics enforcement on the West Bank.





United States Marshals Task Force

OPSO also participates in US Marshal task force activities, focusing on the apprehension of violent criminals in the Greater New Orleans Area and monitors registered sex offenders in Orleans Parish.



Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)

DARE is a school-based drug awareness and prevention program for youth. OPSO’s main focus is sixth graders through high-school.

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Criminal Patrols

This program focuses on outstanding warrants for violent crimes. Persons wanted for violent crimes are targeted and arrested for public safety. This program is grant funded in partnership with the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and focuses on proactive crime prevention in high crime areas and the apprehension of wanted fugitives.

Day Reporting Center

The Day Reporting Center is a collaborative agreement between the New Orleans Sheriff Office and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. The New Orleans Day Reporting Center program strives...

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Programs for Inmates

Transitional Workforce Center

Department of Corrections inmates who have eighteen months or less and a suitable record can end their sentence in the work release program at the TDC Transitional Workforce Facility.

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Low Literacy to GED  Educational Services

These services are provided by our educational partners, the Orleans Parish Public Schools’ Alternative Learning Institute (South White Street Female Facility, juveniles held as adults, House of Detention, and Orleans Parish Prison)...

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HIV Counseling and Testing

This program is in partnership with the Office of Public Health. All incoming arrestees are offered HIV testing upon arrival. A trained nurse is on hand to counsel the patient on the results. As a matter of course, arrestees...

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GED Testing Center

OPSO is a State of Louisiana Department of Education certified GED testing facility. We give a monthly GED test for the public, and test inmate students within secure facilities approximately every two months or as students are ready.

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Community Service

Inmates who are considered low risk and who wish to work for the public good are assigned to Community Service, where they perform a number of civic tasks. The Community Service Division also works in partnership with...

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Alcoholics Anonymous

This program is available to inmates in the House of Detention and the Warren McDaniels Transitional Workforce Center and will be expanding to other buildings as additional volunteers are gained. There is also a group...

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Presentation to Mayor's Committee

Criminal Justice Working Group

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