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BBC TwoThis World


Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Prisoners of Katrina
A year after Hurricane Katrina, This World finds out what happened inside Orleans Parish Prison as panicked inmates, left without food or water, rioted and broke out.

Prisoners released from Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina are held on a bridge in the city

"What about the prisoners in the jail?" the sheriff had been asked as city leaders ordered the people of New Orleans to flee the hurricane heading their way in August 2005.

"The prisoners will stay where they belong," he decided.

It was a decision he would later regret.

In the chaotic days that followed Hurricane Katrina, the image of thousands of orange-clad prisoners crouching on a broken bridge - held at gunpoint by a few overstretched guards - was an unforgettable image.

This is the untold story of almost 7,000 inmates - some murderers and rapists, but others never even charged - who found themselves trapped in the city jail as it flooded.

Olenka Frenkiel reports on a justice system already near to collapse, and on its final tipping point: Katrina.

Director: Nick Read
Producer: Julie Noon
Reporter: Olenka Frenkiel

Prisoners of Katrina
10 Aug 06 |  This World
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11 Aug 06 |  This World

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