More Than 500 From New Orleans Jail Still Unaccounted For

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At www.democracynow.org

It has been nearly one month since Hurricane Katrina ripped through the southern coast of the United States, decimating communities in Mississippi and Louisiana. These past weeks, we have reported on the horrors faced by people in New Orleans, in particular as they struggled to survive. One story we have looked at is the fate of those held in prison as the hurricane hit the city. Weeks later, there are still serious questions about what happened inside of facilities like the Orleans Parish Prison. The group Human Rights Watch has just issued one of the first independent analyses investigating what happened in the jails. The group alleges that in one facility the sheriff's department abandoned hundreds of prisoners.The group also says that there are some 517 prisoners unaccounted for and is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an investigation into the Orleans Sheriff's Department.

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