A federal class action lawsuit has been filed against the Louisiana Department of Corrections and David Wade Correctional Center (DWCC) for subjecting prisoners to cruel, debilitating conditions, including severe punishment for mentally ill and suicidal prisoners.
DWCC houses hundreds of prisoners in “extended lockdown” cells for months on end. This confines an individual in a cell for 23-24 hours per day with little to no human contact. DWCC policy forbids any interaction between prisoners and, due to the layout of the facility, prisoners cannot even see into the other cells. The prolonged confinement and sensory deprivation causes and exacerbates serious mental illness.
The case was originally filed by the MacArthur Justice Center in February, 2018. ACLU of Louisiana legal director Katie Schwartzmann is continuing to litigate the case on behalf of the ACLU.