Cruel and Unusual


So what happened to New Orleans prisons during and after Hurricane Katrina? According to Human Rights Watch,

Inmates in Templeman III, one of several buildings in the Orleans Parish Prison compound, reported that as of Monday, August 29, there were no correctional officers in the building, which held more than 600 inmates. These inmates, including some who were locked in ground-floor cells, were not evacuated until Thursday, September 1, four days after flood waters in the jail had reached chest-level. […]

Corinne Carey, researcher from Human Rights Watch [said], "Prisoners were abandoned in their cells without food or water for days as floodwaters rose toward the ceiling." […]

According to inmates interviewed by Human Rights Watch, they had no food or water from the inmates' last meal over the weekend of August 27-28 until they were evacuated on Thursday, September 1. By Monday, August 29, the generators had died, leaving them without lights and sealed in without air circulation. The toilets backed up, creating an unbearable stench.

"They left us to die there," Dan Bright, an Orleans Parish Prison inmate told Human Rights Watch at Rapides Parish Prison, where he was sent after the evacuation. […]

Several corrections officers told Human Rights Watch there was no evacuation plan for the prison, even though the facility had been evacuated during floods in the 1990s.

Many of the prisoners "had not even been brought before a judge and charged, much less been convicted," the report states. Whole thing here.

UPDATE: Commenter "This&That" directs us to this link-filled Confederate Yankee blog-post questioning HRW's report.

NEXT: Rushdie Speaks (Wash Post Edition)

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  1. That's pretty fucked up.

    But the conditions on Rura Penthe are much worse.

  2. You just have to know the right "people".

  3. Seems "Cruel and Unusual" to me.

    but then it is Lousiana.

  4. You think Rura Penthe is tough, you should try the spice mines of Kessel.

  5. Not to rain in this echo chamber but has anyone actually, you know, fact-checked this story?

    I know, I know, it is the emotion, the truth to power that is more important than any of the silly old facts.

    See this blog's post for some actual checking of this story's 'facts'....err unless that is too bothersome of course.

    this and that

  6. That does sound cruel and unusual. But I see this as fodder for the left since I can guess what race most of them were. I'm sure Jesse Jackson will be talking about it on CNN within a few hours.

  7. Hold on for a few minutes. Jennifer will be doing some tapdancing on somebody's chest.

    It's way past time for a few Bastille Days here in the US of A, if you ask me.

  8. Hold on for a few minutes. Jennifer will be doing some tapdancing on somebody's chest.


  9. The warden of that there prison, Jennifer...
    Get up there and get to tappin'.

  10. Oh, thanks, Ruthless. Your explanation cleared that right the hell up.

  11. Give him what for!

  12. This&That,

    The blog you link to argues that HRW implied that 500+ prisoners died. Yet when you read HRW's statement its obvious that is not true.

  13. this and that,

    I couldn't help myself but follow the cindy sheehan link from your link above


  14. Another fake but accurate report from the criminal enablers and their sickophants.

  15. I remember actually making a comparison between Abu Ghraib and a Louisiana prison in which the LA prison did not compare favorably... I think it's also where the seed of many long arguments with Ken Schultz/Tom Crick probably originated.

    This is where, in the same comment, I both agree with another poster that "It would be better for the Army, however, to get this out in the open and get rid of the torturing SOBs at every level"

    and then go on to point out that

    "it probably wouldn't bother me much if they'd actually BEEN tortured. (Not a legal combatant? Not a citizen of the US? Probably means you're SOL in expecting not to get roughed up by your captors.)"

    There's even an early dismissal of unsubstantiated conspiracy claims in my old post from way back in May.

    It kind of wraps the whole thing up nicely!

    Yeah, I've gotta get a life...

  16. Okay, I guess this thread will not rise to intense rage, so none other than geezer Ruthless will have to make a mat of blood and chestals with my stilettos on the asshole warden's chest.

    There are far too many people in US jails. Try 99.44%. They are there neither for rehabilitation nor for punishment. (Punishment never worked no way anyhow: B. F. Skinner)
    They are there solely because we can put them there. Same reason a dog licks his gonads.
    Rise up!

  17. This might shed some light on the report. Then again, it might point out the downside of drunken buffoonery.

  18. So basically, This & That considers Human Rights Watch to be making a big deal of nothing, because the prisoners were in their cells for days as the water rose to their chests, rather than being locked in cells for days until the water rose over their heads.

  19. who the fuck drives from ohio to louisiana in search of getting absolutely stupendously drunk when a hurricane is bearing down on your ass?

    this is why i don't leave new york, man. 'merica is totally, monumentally, transcendentally fucked, and i want nothing to do with it.

  20. They were on their way home when they stopped in the Big Easy to get drunk. I would get drunk too if I was going back to live in Toledo. Chest deep boredom in Toledo is all they have to look forward to now.

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