Resource: Investigation of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections


January 25, 2023

US Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice (Department) conducted an investigation of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (LDOC) under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). The investigation determined that LDOC incarcerates thousands of individuals each year beyond their legal release dates in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. These violations are pursuant to a pattern or practice of infringements on the constitutional rights of incarcerated persons. While people convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison must serve their time, LDOC routinely confines people far past the dates when they are legally entitled to be released from custody. Since at least 2012, more than a quarter of the people set for release from LDOC’s custody each year are instead held past their release date, in violation of the due process protections of the Constitution. These violations are severe, systemic, and are both caused and perpetuated by serious ongoing deficiencies in LDOC’s policies and practices. LDOC has persisted with these unconstitutional practices despite at least a decade of notice and clear recommendations for fixing the problem. LDOC must act to end the overdetention of people in its custody