A Correctional Ghetto

by Cap Black

Sheriff Marlon Gusman

New Orleans criminal justice system isn’t broken — it’s simply non-existent by most modern standards.

The spotlight is on Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) — equivalent to a county detention center. Civil rights abuse claims abound, as do allegations of incompetence.

Watch this video, taken by OPP inmates,which makes my point far more than mere words!

Warning, adult content:


Who’s more to blame, the thugs in blue jeans or alleged uniformed thugs “supervising” this spectacle while more laws are broken on camera than can be counted?

This is the prevailing mindset among too many of this city’s majority Black population. The criminality seems molecule-deep and do-gooder proof, thus far.

To be fair, White natives share in it as well. This roguishness is fully integrated but less refined among lower income demographics.

My three years living here has been sobering. I’m a Black Southerner, but New Orleans offers a Southern Blackness, the likes of which, I and most other outsiders haven’t previously experienced.

Scenes like this didn’t begin with the current sheriff, Marlon Gusman… To blame him for holding the bag on generations of dysfunction seemed unfair to some advocates and even racist to others.

Critics on the other hand accuse his staff of being little more than uniformed versions of the prisoners seen above.

Supposed low entry requirements and low pay are listed as culprits, but I bluntly add that the local supply of overgrown boy and girl scouts is so depleted as to make a surplus of straight arrow Serpicos highly unlikely.

I think he’s doing the best he can with what he has. I’m prepared to be proven wrong on this count, but against such odds, what can one do that won’t invite lawsuits?

Sheriff Gusman gets to house a microcosm of New Orleans urban reality: a feral existence punctuated by profanity; medicated with substance abuse and riddled with gunfire.

As an American Black man, I’m surrounded by “brothers” like these, blindly pursuing lives of petty crime while Martin Luther King and Malcolm X spin in their graves at warp speed.

Some say my term “chocolate Klansmen” is too harsh tin describing the vandals you just watched. I think it’s more polite than what’s understandably running through certain readers minds.

Sheriff Gusman’s critics and supporters agree on one thing: Orleans Parish Prison is a correctional ghetto.

Can we ask him to cure such a captive audience with a tiny budget and manpower compared to billions spent on creating Obama’s Great Society in it all forms?

He’s the parish jail executive — not its top plantation overseer, despite how some inmates and correctional officers act.

Individuals must upgrade themselves – institutions can’t magically do it for them.

Cap Black, The Hood Conservative

Cap Black is a Contributing Writer to The Bold Pursuit

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