Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman interviewed Corrine Carey from Human Rights
Watch, who are investigating some 517 prisoners unaccounted for in the wake of
Katrina. According to the HRW
for. We’re certainly not saying that those people drowned in the facility, but
there are credible reports, consistent reports from inmates of being left in
that facility in locked cells. And so, we’d like to know from the Orleans
Sheriff and from the Department of Corrections what happened to those 517
really not a prison. It’s a jail. It’s a temporary detention facility. Other
parts of the country you refer to county jails. We call them parish prisons in
Now, some of these prisoners were in fact serving misdemeanor sentences, and
others were picked up for parole violations, but the vast, vast majority of the
prisoners being held at Orleans Parish Prison were pretrial detainees. They had
only been charged. They had not been tried and convicted.
Now, the complex itself includes… [the] central lockup, which is a
one-story facility where prisoners are processed after their arrest. And I heard
accounts of that building being completely underwater. The prisoners were
looking at it from the windows at Templeman III and could see that central
lockup was completely underwater.
AMY GOODMAN: Completely underwater?
NEAL WALKER: Right.