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Civil Rights

Louisiana Federal Court Schedules Remedy Hearing in Angola Prison Abuse Case

— June 10, 2022

A Louisiana-based district court will consider the plaintiffs’ suggestions on how to bring an Angola-area penitentiary accused of abusing disabled inmates into compliance with federal law.

New Orleans, LA — The United States District Court, Middle District of Louisiana will begin a two week long remedy hearing in Lewis v. Cain—a class action lawsuit filed in 2015 against the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections by 16 people with disabilities or serious medical needs incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Mercedes Montagnes, Promise of Justice Initiative’s Executive Director, and Jeffrey Dubner, Democracy Forward’s Deputy Legal Director, serve as co-lead counsel.

In 2021, a federal judge ruled that state corrections officials have, for years, been “deliberately indifferent” to the medical needs of individuals incarcerated at Angola. In the year since the ruling calling medical care at Angola unconstitutional and in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the prison has made insufficient changes in virtually every area contributing to the “widespread” deficiencies in health care. The lack of medical care at Angola–a plantation prison larger than the island of Manhattan–continues to inflict cruel and unusual punishment upon the people who are forced to live at the prison.

Image via AlexVan.Pixabay. (CCA-BY-0.0). Public domain.

WHAT: The court will consider the prospective relief needed to bring Angola’s health care system into compliance with federal law. Co-counsel will speak to the varying ways in which prison officials have failed to and must start fulfilling their constitutional obligation to provide accommodations for persons with disabilities and adequate medical care to everyone incarcerated at Angola.

WHO: Plaintiffs are represented by the Promise of Justice Initiative, Democracy Forward Foundation, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Cohen Milstein, the ACLU of Louisiana, and Disability Rights Louisiana.

WHEN: Monday, June 6, 2022 at 1 pm CST. The hearing is scheduled for June 6 – June 17.

WHERE: Join by phone, 877-402-9753, Access Code 9040606

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