Jails + Prisons

Feds investigating Louisiana’s practice of keeping people in prison after their sentences are up

BY: - December 5, 2020

The U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into the Louisiana prison system’s longstanding practice of keeping prisoners confined to jail for varying lengths of time past their release date.   William Most, a New Orleans attorney representing clients who say they were locked up longer than the law allows, claimed in a lawsuit filed in […]

Angola

Louisiana prisons hastily pull plug on resuming family visits during COVID-19

BY: - November 19, 2020

Louisiana prisons have been preparing for about a month to resume family visits during the week of Thanksgiving after suspending them over eight months ago. But prison officials hastily pulled back on those plans Thursday, saying family visits would no longer take place in a few days.  The prison system is worried about the rising […]

Angola

Louisiana rewards prisoners with $5 for getting flu shot

BY: - November 12, 2020

The Louisiana Department of Corrections is giving a $5 prison-canteen credit to inmates who get the flu shot in its state facilities this year — an incentive that is rare, if not unprecedented. “[G]iven the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical we go above and beyond to urge all inmates, who are otherwise able, to take […]

Senate committee waters down bill to preempt ‘Defund the Police’ Efforts

BY: - October 21, 2020

A Senate committee significantly watered down legislation that would make it harder for municipalities to “defund the police” in their communities.  The bill allows the legislature’s joint budget committee to withhold construction dollars and other funding from local governments who substantially cut their law enforcement budgets. The original proposal, sponsored by Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, […]

Cameroonian asylum seekers said to be one day away from deportation back to the oppression they fled

BY: - October 12, 2020

There is a peaceful room in a safe, joyful home in the Washington metro area waiting for Micah, an English-speaking Cameroonian refugee who spent his 20th birthday on hunger strike in Pine Prairie Detention Center. His 19th birthday was also spent in ICE detention. His uncle, who raised him, has been counseling patience while waiting […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana House will consider anti-‘Defund the police’ bills

BY: - October 5, 2020

The Louisiana House will consider two proposals aimed at making it more difficult for local governments and public higher education institutions to “defund the police” — a movement to shift government funding from law enforcement agencies to other services like mental health treatment, early childhood education and addiction programs.  State Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandra, proposed […]

Angola

Louisiana Lawmakers may undo law that helps ‘juvenile lifers’

BY: - October 1, 2020

Louisiana legislators said they made a mistake earlier this year when they passed a new law making it easier for some people given lifetime prison sentences for crimes they committed as minors to be released. They are looking to undo the part of the new statute that just took effect in August and helps so-called […]

Congress launches inquiry into claims about gynecological procedures at Georgia immigrant facility

BY: - September 22, 2020

Top U.S. House Democrats are investigating a whistleblower’s allegations that immigrant women in a Georgia detention center endured gynecological procedures without their consent or full understanding of the treatment that was being performed. Dawn Wooten, a nurse who worked at the Irwin County Detention Center, said women at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility “were […]

Hammond residents want police chief removed

Hammond City Council votes to remove police chief seen on tape punching Black suspect

BY: - September 10, 2020

HAMMOND — In a unanimous decision Tuesday, the Hammond City Council voted to initiate an investigation into the police chief’s 2017 beating of a handcuffed Black man, which consultants who study police procedures deemed “excessive and borderline criminal.” The council also voted 3-2 to ask the mayor to fire Police Chief Edwin Bergeron, but the […]

Angola

Louisiana Prisons Need To Do More COVID-19 Releases, Advocates Say

BY: - September 3, 2020

The Department of Corrections says there are 9,000 fewer people detained in Louisiana prisons and jails than when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March, but over half of that reduction is the result of changes to how parole violations, immigration infractions and pre-trial detention are handled. There hasn’t been a dramatic change […]

ACLU sues Louisiana over its process regarding early release of prisoners

BY: - August 10, 2020

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana says the state’s government is illegally withholding information about its process regarding the early release of prisoners during the coronavirus pandemic. The advocacy organization is suing Louisiana’s Department of Corrections for documents related to a review panel that decided which inmates could end their sentences early because of […]

Angola

Louisiana says it’s getting ‘mass testing’ of prisoners underway

BY: - July 30, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Louisiana has started a “mass testing” program for COVID-19 in prisons weeks after experts said the state should be doing more to monitor for coronavirus in correctional facilities. The state intends to test inmates and staff at the Allen, Raymond LaBorde, and Rayburn correctional centers. The testing at Allen — […]