Individual freedom – the right to do and go as one pleases – is a core human right. When a person convicted of crime goes to prison, it must be for the limited time imposed by the courts. One fundamental responsibility of a jail or prison is to detain prisoners as long as they have the legal authority to do so – not one day more. All too often, a judge’s release orders are ignored and men and women who should be freed face additional, unexplained months behind bars.
Freedom and Justice for Prisoners Held Captive after Their Sentence is Complete
We have filed two lawsuits on behalf of five individuals who have been subjected to illegal overdetention. Each had taken responsibility for their offense, completed their sentence, and were entitled to release and freedom. Yet these men were illegally detained, waiting for months before being released. We secured their release, in some cases, by advocating directly with the institutions. Others were not set free until we filed petitions for habeas corpus.
But release is not sufficient to do justice for the time stolen from these men by the prison system, so we have also filed civil rights lawsuits to compensate them and hold their jailors accountable for their false imprisonment.
Hearing scheduled on Defendants’ motions to dismiss in both cases
Crittindon v. Gusman
The suit names officials with the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO), the East Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office (ECPSO), and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPS&C). According to the habeas corpus petition filed by the MacArthur Justice Center, Jesse Crittindon’s mother called the facility in East Carroll Parish on a weekly basis and...
Copelin v. Gusman
This is the second lawsuit the MacArthur Justice Center brought against the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO), the East Carroll Parish Sheriff’s Office (ECPSO), and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections for illegal over-detention. Three individuals, Eddie Copelin, Phillip Dominick III, and Donald Guidry, were detained for months after their release dates had come...
In the news
Another Lawsuit Brought for 3 More People Illegally DetainedAssociated Press September 2, 2017
Second Lawsuit Brought This Month For Illegal DetentionPress Release
Treatment of Louisiana prisoners ‘extreme and outrageous,’ lawsuit saysWDSU August 4, 2017
New Orleans men sue over five months spent in jail past release datesThe New Orleans Advocate August 3, 2017