Jails + Prisons

Activist group, along with parent, sues New Orleans over evacuation of detention center teens to adult prison

BY: - October 5, 2021

This story has been updated. A juvenile justice advocacy group, along with a parent of a teen held in custody, is suing the city of New Orleans, a little more than a month after the evacuation of a New Orleans juvenile detention center to an adult prison before Hurricane Ida.  The lawsuit, filed by the […]

Louisiana State Police employee on leave after alleged misconduct at LSU

Louisiana governor downplays State Police cover-up allegations in Ronald Greene case

BY: - September 16, 2021

In a radio interview Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards downplayed reports that Louisiana State Police troopers engaged in an attempted cover-up of the 2019 death of Ronald Greene, saying many of the cover-up allegations are “overblown or just false.” “Sometimes the media is incomplete in the way it portrays things, and tends toward the sensational,” […]

Elayn Hunt

New Orleans teens in detention center were evacuated to adult prison for Hurricane Ida

BY: and - September 15, 2021

Thirty-six teenagers housed in the New Orleans juvenile detention center were evacuated to a state adult prison in Iberville Parish ahead of Hurricane Ida, a move that children advocates described as inappropriate and possibly illegal. The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Intervention Center’s director, Kyshun Webster, said Monday that his facility has a longstanding agreement with […]

Feds expand Pell Grant program for prisoners working on college degrees

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON—Prison inmates around the U.S. are getting the chance to do something that was almost unheard of a generation ago: pursue a college degree while behind bars and with financial support from the federal government. Inmates in 42 states and Washington, D.C., can now get federal grants to work with colleges and universities to earn […]

Louisiana lawmakers are unhappy with the way some criminal justice savings were used

BY: - August 16, 2021

A few high-ranking lawmakers are unhappy about the way Louisiana’s prison system spent the money it saved by shrinking its incarcerated population over the past few years. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections used savings from its prison population reduction to construct a new building at Raymond LaBorde Correctional Center in Cottonport. Lawmakers […]

COMMENTARY

New Orleans’ jail made him sick. Angola’s medical treatment killed him. 

BY: - August 12, 2021

Editor’s note: This commentary contains a graphic description of a person’s suffering and death. By Lois Ratcliff as told to Jamiles Lartey I spent 40 years working in healthcare, mostly as a certified nursing assistant, taking care of elderly and infirmed patients. I watched many people that I had spent years caring for as their health […]

marijuana

Louisiana law that eliminates prison time for modest marijuana possession takes effect Sunday

BY: - July 31, 2021

A new law that eliminates jail and prison time for the possession of modest amounts of marijuana will take effect Sunday.  The law will impose a fine of up to $100 on a person caught with 14 grams or fewer of marijuana in lieu of incarceration — even for repeat offenses.  The current penalties for […]

Judge grants restraining order against Louisiana med school vaccine mandate

Low vaccination rates among incarcerated youth, staff at juvenile facilities, leads to concern

BY: - July 30, 2021

Though everybody over age 12 is eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, only 27% of Louisiana’s incarcerated youth have been inoculated against the deadly virus, an official with the Office of Juvenile Justice said Thursday, and only 36% of the staff at the state’s juvenile facilities have been. “They have received all the information and we really […]

Louisiana inmate taking out the trash

Louisiana shifts prison work crew schedules in government office buildings over Delta surge

BY: - July 27, 2021

The schedules for prison work crews who clean Louisiana state government office buildings in downtown Baton Rouge has been altered because of the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19. There is also a possible COVID-19 outbreak at the prison where the crews usually live. Incarcerated people who typically clean Baton Rouge state offices are […]

Republicans block 'Jim Crow jury' reform

Louisiana prison system is prohibiting outside visitors and family again because of COVID-19

BY: - July 27, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections is barring family members, attorneys, volunteers and other visitors from entering state prisons through at least Aug. 16 as the state undergoes its fourth surge of COVID-19 cases.  The prison system has previously been shut down to outsiders. Family visits were completely prohibited for a year — […]

Angola

Louisiana’s prison system allowing in-person visits with attorneys again

BY: - July 16, 2021

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has started to allow attorneys back into state prisons for in-person visits with incarcerated clients. “Our institutions are encouraging Zoom meetings for visits. If necessary, they will allow non-contact visits for attorneys,” wrote Ken Pastorick, spokesman for the prison system, in an email earlier this month. Attorneys […]

Louisiana prison system’s COVID-19 reimbursements are questionable, audit says

BY: - July 13, 2021

Auto repairs. Horse feed. Chair reupholstery.  Those are some of the services the Department of Public Safety and Corrections had reimbursed through the Coronavirus Relief Fund set up to deal with the public health crisis. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor questioned whether the state should have used federal pandemic relief funding to pay for them in […]