Here is the DOC's ongoing response to COVID in Louisiana facilities.
Here is the BOP's ongoing response to COVID in federal facilities.
Here is the OJJ's ongoing response to COVID in juvenile facilities.
May 5, 2020
April 20, 2020
April 17, 2020
- The emergency review board hears their first 40 cases for release. According to internal reports, 11 people were approved.
- Dr. John Morrison, medical director for the LA DOC, has resigned. In his leaving he continues to defend the DOC's response to the COVID-19 crisis and says that some people behind bars are "in a much more protected environment" inside prisons.
April 14, 2020
- At Gov. John Bel Edwards' daily COVID press conference, Department of Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc announced that he has plans to release a total of 1,100 people TOTAL. Not only that, but the review board--which includes no formerly incarcerated people--won't begin until Friday, will only look at 40 cases at a time, and will require 5 of the 6 board members to vote in favor of release. This plan only apply to people who: are doing time for a nonviolent offense, are within six months of their release date, and already have a residence plan for their release. This plan is negligent, irresponsible, and dangerous.
April 9, 2020
- LDH’s Interim Director Stephen Russo, JD, rescinded Dr. Guidry’s recommendations, in full, effective immediately.
- Mr. Russo has served as the top lawyer for LDH since 2008. He has no medical training, and no expertise in containing viral outbreaks. State law names the 'public health officer,' as the one vested with the powers to oversee pandemics, not an attorney. Please call and email Interim Director Stephen Russo and demand that he reinstate Dr. Guidry's recommendations: 225-342-9500; Stephen.Russo@ldh.gov.
April 8, 2020
- Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the State Health Officer for the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) issued this letter of official CDC-based recommendations to the DOC/Office of Juvenile Corrections. The last point states that facilities must maintain 6 feet of distance between people. If the prisons cannot do that, they must reduce the population in order to comply.
April 7, 2020
- U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, as well as Congressman Mike Johnson sent a letter urging the BOP to take swift action to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Oakdale--where the majority of the deaths have been--and other federal facilities.
April 6, 2020
- The total number of deaths due to COVID in FCI-Oakdale is reported as six. In response, the ACLU files this lawsuit against the facility, and VOTE files this public records request from the Louisiana Department of Health, asking for a turn around time of five calendar days.
April 2, 2020
- The Department of Corrections is taking the following measures, according to their own communications:
- 1. Cease educational and therapeutic programming and other group activities. Warden may request exemptions if sees critical need that outweighs risk.
- 2. Limit Dining areas to servicing one dorm at a time.
- 3. Limit Recreation space (outside and gymnasium) to one housing area using it at a time on rotational basis.
- 4. Permit CTRP program completion via correspondence (approved program list issued by Reentry Division) and allow the awarding of CTRP good-time credit (appropriate documentation required)
April 1, 2020