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ORLEANS PARISH SHERIFF’S OFFICE ADDS TO CURRENT SUPPLY WITH DONATION OF 6,000 MASKS FROM RAPPER DEE-1

NEW ORLEANS - 07-09-2020

Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman today accepted from Rapper Dee -1 a donation of 6,000 masks intended for inmates, who have been wearing masks inside the Orleans Justice Center for the past several months.

"Early on in this pandemic, the Sheriff's Office has undertaken a variety of measures to keep the coronavirus at bay, including testing all staff and inmates, boosting its stockpile of personal protective equipment, deep cleaning facilities and issuing masks to inmates, " Sheriff Gusman said. "We're pleased that Rapper Dee-1 is supporting our efforts to control this pandemic."

Rapper Dee-1 partnered with Pastor Mike McBride of Masks for the People to supply the masks to the Sheriff's Office. "It's important for me to make this donation because I've dedicated my whole life to serving those in need, at all times, in any way possible," Dee-1 said. "This pandemic has really placed each and every one of us in the same boat. We must be conscious of protecting not just ourselves but others; not simply to be 'aware' of those in need but to explore ways where we can share our resources in an effort to help. This is what it's about for me and this is what it will continue to be about."

Dee-1 presented masks and boxes of hand sanitizer to Sheriff Gusman at a press conference attended by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. Also on hand was Dr. Kyshun Webster, executive director of the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center (JJIC) which will receive 500 masks donated by Dee-1.

Mayor Cantrell thanked Dee-1 for his donation to both agencies, adding that she "appreciates your commitment in working with our Sheriff, working with our Juvenile Justice Intervention Center as well. This is another way to show them that they matter, no matter what they are going through."

Dr. Webster said, "JJIC staff remains vigilant with taking measures to keep youth safe during this pandemic. Fortunately, we have not had any presumptive COVID cases among youth. So, this donation of PPE masks for our youth, from Dee-1, is greatly appreciated and will support JJIC's on-going efforts to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread within our facility."

Currently, OPSO has no known positive inmate cases and only four positive staffers who are not at work.

Following is a summary of the prevention and treatment measures that are in force at all OPSO facilities:

  • On March 17, 2020, OPSO suspended all inmate transportation to the courts.
  • Our medical department, Wellpath, has developed a coronavirus screening process for all new arrestees, current inmates and anyone who enters our facilities. This screening includes temperature screenings with the latest technology and several targeted questions surrounding their activities and interactions over the past 14 days.
  • In addition to daily temperature screening, all inmates with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 undergo pulse oximeter checks twice daily.
  • At this time, all non-essential visits to OPSO facilities are suspended.
  • Attorney-client visits and inmates' first appearances have shifted to video conferencing only.
  • In keeping with normal routine, we are dispensing soap and other toiletries to inmates free of charge and staff is directing inmates to wash their hands frequently. The OPSO is also working to ensure that it is equipped with enough supplies to combat COVID-19 on a prolonged basis.
  • Security personnel limit the number of inmates that are allowed out at any one time to increase social distancing.
  • Accommodations have also been made to quarantine any affected individuals in segregated cells. This protocol includes inmates that are being treated for non-COVID-19 health issues and according to the direction of the OPSO medical staff.
  • OPSO staff is vigorously cleaning the facilities and hand sanitation stations have also been installed throughout the Orleans Justice Center.

All OPSO employees and contractors have been notified of this plan, advised on ways to avoid exposure to the virus, encouraged to practice social distancing and urged to notify their supervisors and stay home if they are feeling ill. Specifically, the OPSO has implemented the following procedures for OPSO staff:

  • All OPSO employees are to remain in or on their assigned areas or posts. OPSO staff is prohibited from visiting areas other than their designated posts.
  • At the OPSO entry screening point and before they enter the Orleans Justice Center, OPSO employees and contract personnel must self-report any contact they have had with an individual who has a presumptive positive or positive test for COVID-19.
  • All OPSO staff who call off-duty for potential COVID-19 symptoms for themselves or a family member is required to submit a medical clearance prior to reporting to their assigned post.

As an educational tool for inmates and staff, OPSO has produced a series of videos that is airing on televisions across the facilities. The videos focus on the severity of the outbreak and address how to identify signs and symptoms, ways to prevent the spread and employee protocol surrounding COVID-19.

We have established protocol to test individuals for the virus and report cases to the CDC and Department of Health immediately. We also have detailed instructions and procedures for treating that individual or, if necessary, properly transporting that person to a designated medical facility.

"As previously reported, three members of our OPSO staff, Lt. Garry P. Duplessis, Deputy Eric Frazier and Deputy Vanessa Mackey, have passed away from contracting COVID-19," Sheriff Gusman said. "They will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all of us here at OPSO. As we reconcile our loss, we are continuing to work vigorously to contain and eliminate COVID-19 from within our facilities. We are currently doing a second mass testing of all staff, contractors and inmates."


 

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.


 

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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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Medical Inmate Advocate

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:


1-844-201-4312 or (504) 717-2279


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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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