New Orleans' Temporary Jail

By  | 

After being criticized over the lawlessness just after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans police started arresting people and immediately hit another snag, no jail.

Colonel Terry Norris of the Louisiana Department of Corrections says he and two fellow former state troopers got the assignment of solving the problem. They commandeered the train and bus station and went to work.

What they got was a temporary jail with room for 700. The cells are actually open-air cages with chain-link fencing, topped by razor wire.

Norris says their first prisoner "drove up in a stolen car and wanted to buy a bus ticket."

One official says felons being housed are not people who stole food, but people who stole things like T.V. sets or drugs from pharmacies.

There are about 124 prisoners there now, but that's expected to grow.