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Orleans Justice Center inmates barricade themselves inside prison pod

Inmates at a New Orleans prison barricaded themselves inside of a pod on Sunday amid an ongoing standoff with prison guards.

The prisoners at the Orleans Justice Center staged the protest to demand improved living conditions — including another TV to watch Saints games.

The prisoners also demanded better food and medical care, a washer and dryer, and more books.

The inmates in pod 2A — a high-security pod — refused to return to their cells and remove barricades from entryways into the pod, Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson told Fox News.

Prison officials have offered the inmates water, food and medication for those who need it.

“Sheriff’s deputies are continuing to employ best practices to deescalate the situation. They are engaging in negotiations with the residents in the hopes of resolving this matter without the use of force,” Hutson’s office said.

“So far, offers to resolve this matter have all been refused by the leaders of the protest.” 

Video of the protesters from WVUE shows inmates shouting to cameras from behind a screened window.

Correctional facility.
One of the demands that the inmates protesting had was they want access to watch New Orleans Saints football games.

“We haven’t eaten since Thursday,” one inmate yelled. Another inmate claimed that a diabetic prisoner has not been provided insulin and is “about to die.”

“We, the people in block 2E, are suffering from inhumane treatment,” another read from a paper. “We are being locked in our cells for 20 hours a day. We do not go to court. Some of us haven’t been to court in seven months.”

A concurrent protest in the women section of the prison protest was resolved quickly, officials told WDSU, but the male protests have been going on since Friday. They reportedly communicated with each other through the toilet system.

The inmates’ protest comes after the Orleans Justice Center reported multiple stabbings inside the facility, at least three of which occurred in Pod 2E, Hutson said.

In response to the stabbings, OJC imposed an alternating lockdown schedule, which is another reason the inmates said they were protesting.

Hutson’s office said the requests for a washer and dryer were likely due to residents breaking those machines to make weapons.

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