A federal class-action lawsuit supported by the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Prison Project has halted Louisiana’s practice of housing underage detainees at Angola prison, its harshest penitentiary, Poet Wolfe reports for The Guardian. The lawsuit alleges that youth housed in a vacant former death row in Angola suffered extended periods of solitary confinement, without access to clean water, adequate food and air conditioning. In addition, educational and mental health resources were nonexistent and family visits were impossible to schedule.
Last summer, US district judge Shelly Dick ordered the removal of teens from Angola’s facility due to the “intolerable” conditions. The office of juvenile justice announced in September that juveniles at Angola were transferred to a new facility in Jackson parish. But the office described the arrangement as temporary. The office said it intended to appeal Judge Dick’s ruling, arguing that the judge’s finding of unconstitutional facility conditions was incorrect.