This report provides a 10-year projection of the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) population to be housed by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, with a view toward determining the need to construct a new jail facility or facilities that would have sufficient capacity to properly house and manage persons who were incarcerated under current State and local law and criminal justice policies.
As will be emphasized throughout the report, the current and future size of a jail population is largely the product of a number of factors that are beyond the control of the Sheriff. Demographic, socioeconomic, crime, arrest, and court processing, among other factors, contribute to the two major forces that produce a jail population, i.e., admissions and length of stay (LOS). This initial report documents those trends and estimates the long-term effects of current trends on the projected size of the Orleans jail population. This initial estimate is referred to as the "base" projection. Based on specified assumptions, this study projects a continued but slight decrease in the local (non-State prison) Orleans prisoner population, now estimated at 2,339, to approximately 2,200 by the end of 2012 and continue to decline to 1,953 by the end of 2020. Under current policy, the State Department of Public Safety and Correction (DPS&C) inmate population is held constant at 950 throughout the 10-year forecast based on current policies. Thus, the overall OPP population will reach 2,903 by 2018. If one adds a 7.5-percent peaking factor to accommodate seasonal fluctuations and special housing needs of the inmate population, the bed-capacity need would be 3,121 beds. Policy options that can further reduce the base projection are the creation of a pretrial services agency and a reduction in the number of persons housed in the OPP who are DPS&C State prisoners. 18 tables, 4 figures, and appended report on policy simulations of alternative options
Date Published: March 1, 2011