The Real Cost and Danger from the Orleans Parish Prison System

It’s extremely well known about town that OPP is not the best jail in the area. Hell, it’s the worst by far. Jefferson Parish has the nicest, and Plaquemines, Westwego, the North Shore, etc. all have far nicer jails, and even more importantly, better policies that keep most people out of jail on minor charges such as traffic attachments. In Orleans Parish, the whole idea is to get anyone with a traffic attachment or less into jail, to make money from them. This is the whole problem.

What this means- A huge amount of money and manpower is tied up servicing the huge business that is OPP. The vast majority of this money and manpower can be saved by concentrating on the violent offenders and de-emphasizing all the chicken shit arrests that take place around the clock.

When you have hundreds and thousands of jobs in NOPD and OPSO reliant on the huge money raised by so many super minor arrests, you have a house of cards ready to fall. Our Police really operate on this completely chickenshit arrest mode day after day, week after week. This is a way to control the Police and Sheriff Deputies by making much of their job very unessential. The legal system makes hay on all this arrest chaff, all these inconsequential arrests.

Other costs are paid by Society include work time lost by the arrested parties,  lost jobs, thousands of families put through hell trying to understand the bullshit reason for the arrest of their loved one. Bail money isn’t an option for many folks arrested, they are somewhat down on their luck and don’t have hundreds squirreled away with easy reach. This may lock them up for weeks or months awaiting eventual resolution of their cases .

It’s a Catch 22 situation- The Police do the arresting, and the Criminal Sheriffs book and house the inmates. Everybody scratches each others’ financial backs endlessly.  Thousands of cops and Criminal Sheriffs spend their days arresting, booking and housing the wrong people. The scale is colossal- more than 50% of all police resources go to arresting very minor ‘law’ breaking for strictly financial reasons.

Likewise, it’s clear as the sky above that 75% of the Criminal Sheriff’s money and manpower is spent spinning their wheels guarding the wrong prisoners.

Here’s some of the constantly repeated, day after day, baloney charges- public drunkenness, open container, paraphernalia, criminal trespass, missing Court, not paying traffic tickets or fees or fines. If you cannot pay your fees,  more jail time. Days, weeks, months, six months, etc. All this for the desperately needy paydays for the Criminal Sheriffs and Cops day after day, week after week, month after month, etc. Other parishes in the Metro area simply process you through their system and issue a new Court date, with an additional fine tacked on. They don’t depend on the Federal and State funds OPP thrives on to such a giant degree. It’s Naturally N’Orleans, as Frank Davis might say.

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~ by neworleansmusicman on December 8, 2010.

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