Head of school inside New Orleans juvenile jail arrested, accused of inappropriate contact

The director of the school that operates at New Orleans juvenile jail was arrested Friday based on allegations involving “illegal and inappropriate contact” with a student, a city of New Orleans spokesperson said.

Christy Sampson-Kelly, the director of the Travis Hill School, was booked Friday afternoon following an investigation by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. OPSO said in a news release she faces charges of “malfeasance in office of a sexual nature with a prisoner,” and “prohibited conduct between an educator and student.”

OPSO investigators uncovered “evidence of an inappropriate relationship” between Sampson-Kelly and an 18-year-old in their custody. A source with direct knowledge of the allegations tells WDSU they involve recorded telephone conversations.

The Travis Hill School also caters to the small number of juveniles housed at the Orleans Justice Center — the city’s adult jail. A statement about the arrest from a city spokesperson indicates the alleged illegal activity occurred at the adult jail.

While the specifics of the allegations are unclear, the spokesperson for the city said the city of New Orleans and Juvenile Justice Intervention Center take them “extremely seriously.”

“We are deeply saddened and disturbed that such activity may have taken place,” the statement says.

“Ms. Kelly will not be allowed to return to the JJIC in any capacity, based on her alleged actions at the Orleans Justice Center, and will have no further contact with the students in our care until the case is resolved. At this time, we are not aware of any of these actions having taken place at the JJIC. Currently, there are no youthful offenders in custody at OJC,” the statement from the city says.

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