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Monday, September 05, 2005

What about the New Orleans prisons?

A terrible thought struck me a while ago: if the local Government had no effective plan in place to evacuate the car-less and infirm, what about the criminals incarcerated in local prisons?

Fortunately it sounds like at least one local agency is functioning as expected:
5:50 P.M. - BATON ROUGE (AP): The prisoners corralled on highway overpasses are gone, taken away by boats and buses, some after climbing down a 50-foot scaffold to get to their rescue vehicles. The prisons in New Orleans and two neighboring parishes ravaged by Hurricane Katrina are empty.

Now, state and local officials are trying to piece together some system for booking, jailing and prosecuting accused criminals -- trying to re-establish law and order in a region that had descended into anarchy after the storm.

"The entire criminal justice system is alive and well and is being rapidly re-established," said U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, who represents the district in and around New Orleans and is setting up a new office in Baton Rouge.

The evacuation of prisoners in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes was complete by Thursday without a single escape, officials said; deputies and their families were finished evacuating a day later.
They could find buses for prisoners - but not for people waiting at the Superdome? Odd... very odd.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 9/05/2005 02:19:00 pm


Blogger Berend de Boer said...

Our PM fisks the NZ Herald: http://popularandcompetent.blognz.com/archives/011818.html

What an idiots at the NZ Herald.

9/05/2005 02:48:00 pm  
Blogger fm said...

Just saw this at powerline. The New York Times editorial earlier this year:

Anyone who cares about responsible budgeting and the health of America's rivers and wetlands should pay attention to a bill now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The bill would shovel $17 billion at the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and other water-related projects -- this at a time when President Bush is asking for major cuts in Medicaid and other important domestic programs. Among these projects is a $2.7 billion boondoggle on the Mississippi River that has twice flunked inspection by the National Academy of Sciences.

The Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs accuse the corps of routinely inflating the economic benefits of its projects. And environmentalists blame it for turning free-flowing rivers into lifeless canals and destroying millions of acres of wetlands -- usually in the name of flood control and navigation but mostly to satisfy Congress's appetite for pork.

This is a bad piece of legislation.

Whoopsi !

9/05/2005 03:05:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Yeah we published that on Friday I think. It's fallen off our main page.

9/05/2005 03:14:00 pm  
Blogger fm said...

Okay, sorry about that. Must have missed it somehow. Cheers...

9/05/2005 03:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

al..i heard an interview with a state official and she pointed out that the prisoners had to be a high priority..because of the danger of them breaking out and going bananas in the city..

makes sense..huh..?


9/05/2005 04:18:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Phil - I'm not disagreeing. But if they had the wherewithal to remove the prisoners in such a prompt fashion, why couldn't they get the Superdome people out faster?

I'm beginning to wonder if there was some legal impediment to local agencies commandeering resources. I understand LA doesn't have anything like 'martial law'.

And I wonder on what basis Federal troops are operating in New Orleans now? Technically they can't shoot civilians on USA land.

9/05/2005 04:27:00 pm  
Blogger Craig Ranapia said...

God help me, but Phil's right. Some of these folks These folks weren't sll petty grifters and drunk tank dregs here. Could you imagine the shit storm if one of these folks had got away and (say) raped a refugee or killed a relief worker? They've got enough to deal with as is...

9/05/2005 04:31:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AL: To quote the NO's mayor:

"He also said police would have the authority to comandeer any vehicle or building that could be used for evacuation or shelter."

I agree with the overall gist that more blame needs to be directed towards the local and state authorities, but the US federal government agency responsible, FEMA, shouldn't escape blame as well.

9/05/2005 10:54:00 pm  

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