Jails + Prisons

Louisiana House votes to slightly reduce jail time for people arrested

BY: - May 4, 2021

The Louisiana House voted almost unanimously Tuesday to reduce the amount of time people who are arrested can sit in jail before they are charged with a misdemeanor crime. But House members backed off a more sweeping proposal to cut down on jail time for people who face a wider swath of crimes. Under the […]

COMMENTARY
Courtroom Gavel

It’s time for Louisiana to end juvenile life without parole | Demario Davis & Stan Van Gundy

BY: and - April 29, 2021

Thirty years ago, the United Nations issued the Convention on the Rights of the Child in which it outlined various protections that should be extended to all individuals under 18, including protection from being sentenced to life imprisonment. Yet the United States, which prides itself on guaranteeing all citizens the unalienable right to life, liberty […]

Courtroom Gavel

Louisiana may increase annual compensation for people wrongfully convicted of a crime

BY: - April 27, 2021

Louisiana lawmakers may increase the amount of money paid out annually to a small group of people who the court has decided were wrongfully convicted of a crime and deserve compensation for the time they spent in prison. The House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice forwarded legislation to the full House Tuesday that […]

Louisiana Legislature considers reducing time in jail for people arrested

BY: - April 24, 2021

Louisiana lawmakers may limit the amount of time people who’ve been arrested can sit in jail without being charged with a crime. Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, is hoping his legislation will reduce the number of people who are detained in jails without being convicted of a crime across the state. Louisiana is infamous for […]

Louisiana lawmakers consider letting people convicted of felonies serve on juries

BY: - April 23, 2021

The Louisiana House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice voted 6-4 Thursday to allow some people convicted of felonies to serve on juries. The legislation has now been forwarded to the full House for consideration. Rep. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, is sponsoring the bill. If passed, people who were convicted of felonies would be […]

COMMENTARY

Supreme Court ruling may doom more Louisiana juveniles to permanent imprisonment | Jarvis DeBerry

BY: - April 23, 2021

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile defendants don’t jibe with the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” and be imposed on the rare juvenile who is “permanently incorrigible,” Louisiana has acted as if incorrigibility isn’t rare at all. It has acted as if […]

Republicans block 'Jim Crow jury' reform

COVID-19 vaccination rate in Louisiana prisons lags that of the general population

BY: - April 2, 2021

Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccination rate of state prisoners is trailing that of the state’s general population, even though state officials have said most people who are incarcerated in state prisons are willing to get the vaccine and that inmates have had access to the treatment. Louisiana had fully vaccinated 2,298 inmates as of March 28, according […]

Republicans block 'Jim Crow jury' reform

Louisiana prison system may seek federal COVID-19 funding for air conditioning

BY: - March 31, 2021

The officials who run Louisiana’s Department of Corrections are looking at whether any federal funding included in a recent COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress could be used to install air conditioning in state prisons.  Concerns over inmates’ well-being doesn’t seem to be what’s driving the conversation over air conditioning. Department of Corrections Secretary Jimmy […]

Courtroom Gavel

A return to normalcy may also mean a return to jury duty

BY: - March 17, 2021

The Louisiana Supreme Court has lifted a COVID-19-related moratorium on jury trials and is granting judges across the state permission to hold in-person trials in April. Louisianians called to report for jury duty should expect to find a court system committed to keeping them safe, Chief Justice John Weimer said in a March 12 press […]

Families encouraged as some visitation resumes at Louisiana prisons, but hope for more

BY: - March 12, 2021

When Elayn Hunt Correctional Center opens to visitors for the first time in a year Monday, Wendy Matherne plans to be among the first in line. She has an appointment to visit her son Jonathan West, whom she hasn’t seen in a year. “I told my son that I don’t care what I have to […]

Republicans block 'Jim Crow jury' reform

Louisiana prisons will allow family visits for the first time in a year

BY: - March 11, 2021

Louisiana will start to allow visits from inmates’ families and loved ones at state prisons again Saturday, though attorneys and volunteers will still be prohibited from coming to the correctional facilities, according to the Department of Corrections. Inmates haven’t been able to see their families in person in at least 12 months. The prisons shut […]

Louisiana will start vaccinating prisoners 70 and over next week

BY: - January 6, 2021

Louisiana will start giving COVID-19 vaccine to prisoners 70 and over and those who have end-stage renal disease next week. The state has already started vaccinating these same groups of people in the wider community. “As we open up priority groups for our general population, we will vaccinate those same priority groups who are actually […]