Men, women and kids in jail or prison are at the mercy of their jailors, who control their physical location, safety, medical and mental health, even their ability to seek or speak with their families and loved ones. The Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution guarantee that prisoners will be treated humanely and with respect for their basic dignity.
The MacArthur Justice Center seeks to lift up and amplify the voices and stories of our incarcerated clients, and fight for their health, safety and dignity.
Bringing Real Change to Orleans Parish Prison
The MacArthur Justice Center represents the men, women and kids incarcerated in the Orleans Justice Center, formerly called Orleans Parish Prison. The class action filed in 2012 alleged inhumane conditions where prisoners often were subjected to violence, excessive force by deputies and staff, sexual assaults, neglect and the denial of needed mental health services. In June 2013, the Federal Court entered a consent judgment to bring the jail into compliance with the Constitution.
When our Louisiana office opened in November 2013, we took over the representation of the prisoners in order to ensure that the requirements of the consent judgment were fulfilled. Our approach to enforcement of the consent judgment is more labor-intensive than in many other such cases across the U.S. We believe we must assert our clients’ rights on a day-to-day basis to ensure that the consent judgment becomes a reality.
Interim Compliance Director Darnley Hodge has asked the Court to grant him immunity from lawsuits brought by individual prisoners for damages suffered by them during his service as Compliance Director. On behalf of the class Plaintiffs, we oppose this motion. The briefs are available here.
Appointment of Interim Compliance Director of Orleans Justice Center
Monitor’s Report No. 8
Our team reviews the periodic reports of the Independent Court Monitors, advising on incidents, trends, patterns and practices within OJC that violate the consent judgment or obstruct progress toward full compliance with the consent judgment.