GRAPHIC VIDEO: Inmate drug use, gun in cell, gambling seen in OPP video


POSTED: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 4:59pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 5:04pm

A video showing prisoners using illegal drugs, holding a loaded gun and drinking sent shockwaves yesterday after it was released during court proceedings. Today, Mayor Landrieu responded to the controversial video recorded in the Orleans Parish Prison.

"The tape was made aware to me the night before that it was shown in court. That's when I first saw it, and I was mesmerized by it, as (was) everybody else," Landrieu told WDSU. "The entire management of the prison system is in disarray."

Click here to watch the full video.

The video was released Tuesday, April 2 as part of the hearings over a consent decree at the jail. In the video prisoners are seen snorting, injecting and smoking various drugs inside a jail cell. At one point an inmate is seen flashing a hand gun.

The illegal activity shown in the video was alleged in a lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which helped foster the reforms in the first place.

"The most frightening thing for a staff member or inmate is when the prison is out of control," criminologist Dr. Peter Scharf said.

The video now leaves more questions than provides answers.

"I think you really need a serious fact-finding (effort). Was this an anomaly? Was this one shift? Was this one tier? Is this representative?" Scharf asked.

--Information for this story was provided by WDSU.

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