Filed Date: Dec. 31, 2020
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On December 3, 2020, the Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (DOJ) announced that it had opened a statewide investigation into the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections’ (LDOC) prisoner release practices and policies. DOJ’s announcement followed multiple lawsuits, including Humphrey v. LeBlanc, and a 2019 State Auditor’s report alleging that the state routinely keeps prisoners in jail past their release dates for days, weeks, and even months. DOJ is investigating the LDOC under the auspices of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, which gives DOJ the authority to investigate violations of the constitutional rights of imprisoned people. The Fourteenth Amendment right to due process is violated when an individual remains incarcerated after the legal authority to hold them has expired.
According to attorneys who represent individuals imprisoned past their release dates, LDOC’s practice of over-detention is a statewide issue stemming from (1) LDOC’s complex and sometimes faulty process of calculating release dates; and (2) inefficiencies in the way sheriffs, courts, court clerks share information with LDOC after an individual is sentenced. Following the announcement, an LDOC spokesperson made a statement committing LDOC’s full cooperation with the investigation. The scope of the investigation includes both state and local facilities.
The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Louisiana are also involved in the investigation, which the DOJ website indicates is ongoing.
Hannah Juge (8/8/2022)
Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.
State / Territory: Louisiana
Filing Date: Dec. 31, 2020
Case Ongoing: Yes
Non-court case; investigation conducted by the Special Litigation Section of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney's Offices in Louisiana.
Public Interest Lawyer: No
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
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Prevailing Party: None Yet / None
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