Prisoners Report on Conditions in

Louisiana Prisons

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www.prisoncensorship.info is a media institution run by the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons. Here we collect and publicize reports of conditions behind the bars in U.$. prisons. Information about these incidents rarely makes it out of the prison, and when it does it is extremely rare that the reports are taken seriously and published. This historical record is important for documenting patterns of abuse, and also for informing people on the streets about what goes on behind the bars.

We hope this information will inspire people to take action and join the fight against the criminal injustice system. While we may not be able to immediately impact this particular instance of abuse, we can work to fundamentally change the system that permits and perpetuates it. The criminal injustice system is intimately tied up with imperialism, and serves as a tool of social control on the homeland, particularly targeting oppressed nations.

[Abuse] [David Wade Correctional Center] [Louisiana]
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David Wade Prison Chaotic as Officials Face Charges and Investigations

Several high-ranking officials have jumped ship because of the federal investigations into the shooting death of prisoner Del Trey [spelling uncertain] in 2017. Also, concerning the lawsuit by the Advocacy Center many have taken non-security jobs around the prison, i.e. maintenance, classification, etc.

Most importantly, on 1 July 2019 the infamous, dirty, low down, corrupt, scumbag pig Colonel Nail was escorted from prison grounds and evicted from his house on state property and is facing criminal charges for tampering with an investigation, malfeasance in office, etc.

It is possible that all of this has something to do with the mail because all prisoners writing orgs,etc. especially the ACLU And Advocacy Center as well as those engaged in litigation against DOC and this prison have been experiencing problems. Also the high turnover of new guards passing mail to the wrong cells is a problem.

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[Control Units] [David Wade Correctional Center] [Louisiana]
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Louisiana Prisoners Fight Solitary Confinement

Declaration of Undersigned Prisoners

We, the Undersigned Persons, committed to the care and custody of the Louisiana Department of Corrections (LDOC), hereby submit the following declaration and petition bearing witness to inhumane conditions of solitary confinement in the N-1 building at the David Wade Corrections Center (DWCC).

Our Complaint:

We, the Undersigned Persons, declare under penalty of perjury:

(1) We, the undersigned, are currently housed in the N-1 building at DWCC, 670 Bell Hill Road, Homer, LA 71040.

(2) We are aware that the Constitution, under the 8th Amendment, bans cruel and unusual punishments; the Amendment also imposes duties on prison officials who must provide humane conditions of confinement and ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and must take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of the inmates.

(3) We are aware that Louisiana prison officials have sworn by LSA-R.S.15:828 to provide humane treatment and rehabilitation to persons committed to its care and to direct efforts to return every person in its custody to the community as promptly as practicable.

(4) We are confined in a double-bunked 6x9 or 54 square feet cell with another human being 22 hours a day and are compelled to endure the degrading experience of being in close proximity of another human being while defecating.

(5) There are no educational or rehabilitation programs for the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1 building except for a selected few inmates who are soon to be released.

(6) We get 1 hour and 30 minutes on the yard and/or gym seven days a week. Each day we walk to the kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner which takes about one minute to get there. We are given 10 minutes to eat.

(7) The daily planner for inmates confined in the N-1 building is to provide inmates 1 hour and 30 minutes on yard or gym; escort inmates to kitchen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to sit and eat for approximately 10 minutes each meal; provide a 10 minute shower for each cell every day; provide 1 ten minute phone call per week; confine prisoners in cell 22 hours a day.

(8) When we are taking a shower we are threatened by guards with disciplinary reports if we are not out on time. A typical order is: “if you are not out of shower in 10 minutes pack your shit and I’m sending you back to N-2, N-3, or N-4” – a more punitive form of solitary confinement.

(9) When walking outside to yard, gym or kitchen, guards order us to put our hands behind our back or they’ll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4.

(10) When we are sitting at the table eating, guards order us not to talk or they’ll write us up and send us back to N-2, N-3, N-4.

(11) Guards are harassing us every day and are threatening to write up disciplinary reports and send us back to a more punitive cellblock (N-2, N-3, N-4) if we question any arbitrary use of authority or even voice an opinion in opposition to the status quo. Also, guards take away good time credits, phone, TV, radio, canteen, and contact visits for talking too loud or not having hands behind back or for any reason they want. We are also threatened with slave labor discipline including isolation (removing mattress from cell from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.), strip cell (removing mattress and bedding and stationery from cell for 10 to 30 days or longer), food loaf 2 (taking one’s meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and mixing it all together into one big mass, bake it in oven and serve it to prisoners for punishment).

(12) When prison guards write up disciplinary reports and transfer us to the more punitive restrictive solitary confinement in N-2, N-3, N-4 or N-5, guards then enforce an arbitrary rule that gives prisoners the ultimatum of sending all their books and personal property home or let the prison dispose of it.

(13) Louisiana prison officials charge indigent prisoners (who earn less than 4 cents an hour) $3.00 for routine requests for health care services, $6.00 for emergency medical requests, and $2.00 for each new medical prescription. They wait until our family and friends send us money and take it to pay prisoners’ medical bills.

Our Concerns:

(14) How much public monies are appropriated to the LDOC budget and specifically allotted to provide humane treatment and implement the rehabilitation program pursuant to LSA-R.S.15:828?

(15) Why does Elayn Hunt Correctional Center located in the capitol of Louisiana have so many educational and rehabilitation programs teaching prisoners job and life skills for reentry whereas there are no such programs to engage the majority of prisoners confined in the N-1, N-2, N-3, and N-4 solitary confinement buildings at DWCC.

(16) It is customary for Louisiana prison officials and DWCC prison guards to tell inmates confined in the prison’s cellblocks to wait until transfer to prison dormitory to participate in programs when in fact there are no such programs available and ready to engage the majority of the state’s 34,000 prisoner population. The programs are especially needed for prisoners confined in a 6x9 or 54 square feet cell with another person for 22 or more hours per day.

(17) Why can’t prisoners use phone and computers every day to communicate with family and peers as part of rehabilitation and staying connected to the community?

(18) Why do prisoners have to be transferred miles and miles away from loved ones to remote correctional facilities when there are facilities closer to loved ones?

(19) Why are prison guards allowed to treat prisoners as chattel slaves, confined in cages 22 or more hours per day, take away phone calls and visitation and canteen at will, and take away earned good time credits for any reason at all without input from family, one’s peers and community?

(20) Why do the outside communities allow prison guards to create hostile living environments and conditions of confinement that leaves prisoners in a state of chattel slavery, stress, anxiety, anger, rage, inner torment, despair, worry, and in a worse condition from when we first entered the prison?

(21) Why do state governments and/or peers in the community allow racist or bigoted white families who reside in the rural and country parts of Louisiana to run the state’s corrections system with impunity? For example, DWCC Warden Jerry Goodwin institutes racist and bigoted corrections policies and practices for the very purpose of oppression, repression, antagonizing and dehumanizing the inmates who will one day be released from prison.

(22) David Wade Correctional Center Colonel Lonnie Nail, a bigot and a racist, takes his orders from Warden Jerry Goodwin, another racist and bigot. Both Goodwin and Nail influences subordinate corrections officers to act toward prisoners in a racist or bigoted manner and with an arrogant attitude. This creates a hostile living environment and debilitating conditions of confinement for both guards and prisoners and prevents rehabilitation of inmates.

(23) In other industrialized democracies like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, et al, it is reported that no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them. Punitive or harsh conditions of confinement are not supported because they see the loss of freedom inherent in a prison sentence as punishment enough. One Netherlands official reported that their motto is to start with the idea of “Reintegration back into society on day one” when people are locked up. “You can’t make an honest argument that how someone is treated while incarcerated doesn’t affect how they behave when they get out,” the official added.

(24) Additionally, some Scandinavian countries have adopted open prison programs without fences or armed guards. Prisoners who prove by their conduct that they can be trusted are placed in a prison resembling a college campus more than a prison. The result is a 20% recidivism rate, compared to a 67% rate in the United States.

(25) The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) in a position statement says: “Prolonged (greater than 15 consecutive days) solitary confinement is cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and harmful to an individual’s health.”

What We Believe:

(26) We believe that when the greater portion of public monies goes to war and the military, this leaves little funds left for community reinvestment and human development. The people have less access to resources by which to get a better idea of human behavior and rely on higher education instead of prison to solve cultural, social, political, economic problems in the system that may put people at risk to domestic violence and crime as a way to survive and cope with shortcomings in the system.

(27) We believe that investing public monies in the rehabilitation program LSA-R.S.15:828 to teach prisoners job and life skills will redeem inmates, instill morals, and make incarcerated people productive and fit for society.

(28) We believe that confining inmates in cellblocks 15 or more hours per day is immoral, uncivilized, brutalizing, a waste of time and counter-productive to rehabilitation and society’s goals of “promoting the general welfare” and “providing a more perfect union with justice for all.”

(29) We believe that corrections officers who prove by their actions that incarcerated people are nothing more than chattel slaves are bucking the laws and creating hardening criminals and these corrections officers are, therefore, a menace to society.

Our Demands:

(30) We are demanding a public conversation from community activists and civil rights leaders about (i) the historic relationship between chattel slavery, the retaliatory assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and the resurrection of slavery written into the 13th Amendment; (ii) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the backlash against Reconstruction, Peonage, Convict Leasing, and Slavery; (iii) the historic relationship between the 13th Amendment, the War Against Poverty, the War on Drugs, Criminal Justice and Prison Slavery.

(31) We demand that the Louisiana legislature pass the Decarcerate Louisiana Anti-Slavery and Freedom Liberation Act of 2020 into law and end prison slavery and the warehousing of incarcerated people for the very purpose of repression, oppression, and using prisoners and their families and supporters as a profit center for corporate exploitation and to generate revenue to balance the budget and stimulate the state economy.

(32) We are demanding that Warden Jerry Goodwin and Colonel Lonnie Nail step down and be replaced by people are deemed excellent public servants in good standing with human rights watchdog groups and civil rights community.

(33) We are demanding that the LDOC provide public monies to operate state prison dormitories and cellblocks as rehabilitation centers to teach incarcerated people job and life skills 5 days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

(34) We are demanding that the LDOC release a public statement announcing that “from this day forward it will not support punitive or harsh conditions of confinement,” and that “no prisoner should be declared beyond reform or redemption without first attempting to rehabilitate them.”

(35) We are demanding that the prison cellblocks be operated as open dormitories (made in part a health clinic and part college campus) so that incarcerated people can have enough space to walk around and socialize, participate in class studies, exercise, use telephone as the need arise. Prisoners are already punished by incarceration so there is no need to punish or further isolate them. Racism and abuse of power will not be tolerated.

(36) We are demanding an end to unjust policies and practices that impose punishments and deprive incarcerated people of phone calls, visitation, canteen, good time credits, books and other personal property that pose no threat to public safety.

(37) We are demanding that LDOC provide incarcerated people cellphones and computers to communicate with the public and stay connected to the community.

(38) We are demanding the right to communicate with reporters to aid and assist incarcerated persons in preparing a press release to communicate to the public Decarcerate Louisiana’s vision and mission statements, aims, and plans for moving forward.

(39) We are demanding the right to participate in the U.S.-European Criminal Justice Innovation Project and share our complaint, concerns, and demands for a humane corrections program.

(40) We are only demanding the right to enough space to create, to innovate, to excel in learning, to use scientific knowledge to improve our person and place and standing in the free world. The rule of law must support the betterment and upliftment of all humanity. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

(41) We demand that the responsibility for prisoner medical care be removed from DOC wardens and place it under the management of the state’s health office; increase state health officer staff to better monitor prisoner health care and oversee vendor contracts.

(42) We have a God-given right and responsibility to resist abuse of power from the wrongdoers, to confront unjust authority and oppression, to battle for justice until we achieve our demands for liberation and freedom.

We, the undersigned, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
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[United Front] [Louisiana]
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Inspired by UFPP in Lousiana

Myself and a few more wish to organize on the five principles of the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) in an old issue of Under Lock & Key 52 we came across. Peace first, because the oppressors have utilized petty conflicts to keep the people divided into classes. Unity second because as a unit we all come together 1 mind 1 goal: the destruction of oppression. Growth Because of its necessary role in our development into a true revolutionary society (and if our movement is not growing we are obviously decaying). Internationalism because we recognize that the U.$. programs the lumpen with materialism so that oppression can thrive through pillaging poor people, and with internationalism we recognize the worldwide struggle. Independence to determine what is best for us and building program that serves the people righteously.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Join these comrades in Louisiana to take up the United Front for Peace in Prisons (UFPP) five principles. Think about how they apply to your work, and what you can do to implement them in organizing against the criminal injustice system. See page 3 of every issue of ULK for details on the UFPP principles.

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [David Wade Correctional Center] [Louisiana] [ULK Issue 57]
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Isolation and Torturous Conditions at David Wade Corrections Center

To whom it may concern, this is a plea for help from all prisoners housed in David Wade Correctional Center (DWCC) located in Homer, Louisiana.

Warden Goodwin is locking us inside these torture chambers for years with no educational activities, no corrective-rehabilitative programs, and no counseling for mental health. The lawmakers' and courts' intentions were to send those convicted of a crime to prison as a punishment, not to be oppressed, tortured in a cell 24-7 with nothing to do for years with nothing to better themselves, also with no TV or radio to have contact with the outside world. The lawmakers' intent was that prisoners receive correction and rehabilitation so as to return to society as productive, tax-paying, law-abiding members. By prisoners not being able to better themselves behind these walls, that is what makes us the highest incarceration state of the U.S.

Warden Goodwin is forcing mentally ill prisoners in a cell together 24-7, only coming out for a shower, and in turn these prisoners are hurting each other and raping each other. The policy #035 stated no maximum ext-lockdown inmate should be housed together but they are at DWCC where if you do not go in the cell you will be pepper sprayed. And not knowing what to expect or having any idea as to the length of confinement is added stress and particularly traumatizing, compounded by simplistic practices. The courts have also held that housing mentally ill prisoners under conditions of extreme isolation is unconstitutional, see Wilkerson v. Goodwin 12-17-14 [This case addressed long-term/indefinite solitary confinement, not specifically for the mentally ill - ULK Editor]. There has been much research that demonstrated that prolonged solitary confinement is most dangerous to the mentally ill. Thus, we become disturbed with mental anguish that compels us to grab and adopt to other means and channel our pain, many are cutting themselves and going on hunger strikes. These are only a few experiences of prisoners. We need help, we need change, expose this torture!

Help us today, make a call or fax our governor and head of DOC. Ask them to close the torture chamber confinement unit at DWCC:

James Leblanc, Secretary of Corrections 225-342-6740 fax: 225-342-3095
Governor John Edwards 225-342-7015 fax 225-342-0002

MIM(Prisons) adds: As we have discussed elsewhere, isolation in prisons and mental illness reinforce each other under the current imperialist prison model. Too often people in these institutions are seen as lacking as individuals, when it is a system that creates this crisis in mental health. That is one reason we have continued to focus on the campaign to end the torture that is solitary confinement in the U.$. injustice system.

This issue of Under Lock & Key is focused on disabilities in prison. The use of control units to torture people, leading to physical and mental health problems is very much related to this topic. Long-term isolation is creating more and more disabled prisoners, by destroying their health. And then prisons are perpetuating this problem by failing to provide adequate care for the problems they created.

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[Abuse] [Legal] [Medical Care] [Louisiana] [ULK Issue 56]
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Clarifying Legal Tactics: Deadly Heat in Louisiana

In response to the article in ULK 55 titled "Correction to Deadly Heat in Louisiana Article," I am equally compelled to struggle my point across to my Texas comrade and all other comrades within the jurisdiction of the 5th Circuit. Our Texas comrade has committed the error of "seeing only a tree instead of the forest," please allow me to explain.

While it is correct that the 5th Circuit remanded the case back to the District Court with an order to apply the injunction to only the three plaintiffs in Angola's death row – Ball, Magee and Code – if one would read and digest the discussion of the 5th Circuit's ruling then one would see that it is obvious that in order for "all" prisoners to receive this relief then "all" prisoners would have to file! And I am fairly sure that most comrades can "come up" with a medical condition! In section 3 of the opinion under "disability claims" the court stated in the last paragraph that because the plaintiffs failed to properly introduce their ADA claims that it was fatal as to that claim, therefore "reading between the lines" one can grasp the nugget of wisdom!

So in conclusion there has been and is a victory against the deadly heat in Louisiana, so I urge all comrades to flood the courts with their own "personal" suits and bypass the stacked deck of the PLRA, entiendes? Please read the "entire" case with footnotes etc.: it was declared that the heat can be a violation of the Eighth Amendment. (The ADA provides "endless" major life activities and functions so everyone can find a niche). So if the heat is a violation of a federal right then – (quote from opinion) "such relief shall extend no further than necessary to correct the violation of the federal right of a particular plaintiff or plaintiffs!"

Be that plaintiff!

Please read the case: Elzie Ball, et al. v. James M. Leblanc, et al. U.$. District Court for the Middle district of Louisiana, 988 F. Supp. 2d 639; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178557 Civil Action No.: 13-00368-BAJ-SCR. This is on order from Ball v. Leblanc, 792 F.3d 584, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11769 (5th Cir. La. 2015).


MIM(Prisons) responds: In "Correction to Deadly Heat in Louisiana Article", another writer responded to this writer's original article on this lawsuit from ULK 53. The responder pointed out that the 5th Circuit Court's decision only afforded people with pre-existing medical conditions relief from the dangerous heat in Louisiana prisons. And so ey clarified that the ruling does not automatically apply to all of Louisiana's death row. We are glad that both writers chimed in on the topic, to clarify the ruling and the suggested tactics.

We need to think creatively about how to use this court decision to expand protections to anyone with any medical condition. In conditions like this that are truly dangerous (as we approach summer once again) we encourage people to follow this comrade's lead and look for ways to use the legal system to improve safety of your conditions.

Perhaps others will disagree with this tactic and propose other better uses for people's time and legal research. It's slow to engage in debate through the pages of a bi-monthly newsletter like Under Lock & Key but this is beneficial to all readers and a part of the unity-criticism-unity process. It's a healthy debate over tactics that will keep pushing our work forward, so write to us and let us hear your thoughts.

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[Legal] [Louisiana] [ULK Issue 55]
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Correction to Deadly Heat in Louisiana Article

There was an entry in ULK 53 I am compelled to address under the heading "Deadly Heat Victory in Louisiana." It was erroneously reported the 5th Circuit ruling in Bell v. LeBlanc, 792 F. 3d 584, mandated the temperature be maintained "at or below 88 degrees in Angola's death row buildings."

Not so. The 5th Circuit held the U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana ruling encompassing all of Louisiana's death row overly broad, and therefore an abuse of the District Court's discreation, violation of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The 5th Circuit pared down the District Court's ruling to affect only the three named plaintiffs: Elzie Ball, Nathaniel Code, and James Magee. The only reason the 5th Circuit upheld the District Court's ruling as pertaining to these three plaintiffs is because all three are afflicted with pre-existing medical conditions that are susceptible to heat-induced complications.

"Based on its findings of fact, we affirm the district court's conclusion that housing these prisoners in very hot cells without sufficient access to heat-relief measures, while knowing that each suffers from conditions that render him extremely vulnerable to serious heat-related injury, violates the Eighth Amendment. ... The district court also erred because it awarded relief facility-wide, instead of limiting such relief to Ball, Code, and Magee. ... Because the district court's injunction provides an unnecessary type of relief and applies beyond these three Plaintiffs, it violates the PLRA. Accordingly, the district court abused its discretion. ... We emphasize, however, that the finding of substantial risk regarding a heat-related injury is tied to the individual health conditions of these inmates." Ball v. LeBlanc, 792 F.3d 584, 596-600, FNG.
The 5th Circuit opined Ball, Code, and Magee could be housed in cells closer to the death row guards' station, which is air conditioned, thereby cooler than the remainder of death row cells. Or, at most, a single death row tier could be air conditioned as a heat-relief measure for prisoners similarly situated to Ball, Code, and Magee. But as for requiring the Louisiana Department of Corrections to maintain temperatures below 88 degrees at Angola's death row altogether, the 5th Circuit judged that was not necessary to comport with the Federal Constitution.

Moral being, if it sounds too good to be true.. perhaps MIM(Prisons) should submit to me these litigous tidbits for vetting and verification.


MIM(Prisons) responds: Thank you to this comrade for setting the record straight, and helping to keep our subscribers from venturing down a wrong path in seeking their own relief from extreme heat, especially as summer is fast approaching. We rely on our subscribers to share their knowledge with us, whether it be their legal expertise, organizing experience, or theoretical understanding. Everyone should be making an effort to increase our collective abilities, which our oppressors try so hard to eliminate.

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[Campaigns] [Louisiana]
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Downloadable Grievance Petition, Louisiana

Louisiana Grievance Petition
Click here to download a PDF
of the Louisiana grievance petition
Mail the petition to your loved ones and comrades inside who are experiencing issues with their grievance procedure. Send them extra copies to share! For more info on this campaign, click here.

Prisoners should send a copy of the signed petition to each of the addresses listed on the petition, and below. Supporters should send letters on behalf of prisoners.

Louisiana Department of Corrections
PO Box 94304
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9304

United States Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division
Special Litigation Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, PHB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Office of Inspector General
HOTLINE
P.O. Box 9778
Arlington, Virginia 22219

And send MIM(Prisons) copies of any responses you receive!
MIM(Prisons), USW
PO Box 40799
San Francisco, CA 94140


*Pdf updated October 2017*
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[Organizing] [Abuse] [David Wade Correctional Center] [Louisiana] [ULK Issue 53]
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Deadly Heat Victory in Louisiana

To all comrades within the jurisdiction of the fifth circuit, there has been a victory ordering prison officials to maintain the temperature (heat index!) at or below 88 degrees in Angola's death row buildings. We have also filed to have our buildings cooled. The court has in so many words said that each prison must file separately in order to obtain relief.

Please read the case: Elzie Ball, et al. v. James M. Leblanc, et al. U.$. District Court for the Middle district of Louisiana, 988 F. Supp. 2d 639; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178557 Civil Action No.: 13-00368-BAJ-SCR. This is on order from Ball v. Leblanc, 792 F.3d 584, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11769 (5th Cir. La. 2015).

It is important to note that the heat index is always much higher than the actual temperature. Let us have the courts order the pigs to cool us off, while they are heated up by having to spend $$ from a strained budget; who likes bacon!!!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This writer is following up on the battle comrades have been waging against some seriously dangerous conditions in Louisiana prisons. There was a hunger strike in July to protest the deadly heat. Another comrade reported on deaths and threats to prisoners attempting to expose the conditions:

"On the date of 12 June 2016 an offender by the name of Lawrence Goodeau committed suicide due to the confinement and heat issue being so harsh. Upon David Wade authorities doing their investigation they made multiple threats to offenders after their investigation about them letting investigators know about the confinement and heat issue that we are currently in court for. There have been other deaths here at David Wade at the hands of authority that have been swept under the rug multiple times.

"At this point in time David Wade is under investigation for the cruel and unusual punishment by the Dept. of Corrections and other sources behind all of the violations by authority of David Wade. Right now offenders are at risk of a heatstroke because of the heat issue. The head Warden, Jerry Goodwin, who is now the regional Warden, has totally disregarded these issues as well."

Another comrade wrote to us recently about conditions at David Wade in the control units:

"All prisoners are housed in their cells 24-7 and get only one outside a week. All cells are approx 8x7 which do not meet ACA standards of sixty-four square feet of unencumbered space for prisoners....We do not have TVs or radios, nor access to any educational programming etc. We are limited to three books, and we endure eighteen hours of continuous bright light in the cells everyday, no exceptions! We must endure the elements of both cold and heat, with temperatures often times reaching triple digits. We are not provided any ice, and are forced to wear a heavy linen cloth jumpsuit from 5am to 4pm. All prisoners suffer the effects of the chemical agents that are used on us on a daily basis. Many prisoners are also placed on (strip cell) in a thin see through paper gown for thirty-day periods. During the winter months this is beyond torture."

It's clear that conditions in Louisiana prisons are dangerous on many levels. The heat problem is serious and we applaud these comrades for their success in this battle. They demonstrate the value of taking on the criminal injustice system through various channels: legal battles can sometimes (rarely) be won, but protests behind bars and on the streets will always help with these fights. These comrades also demonstrate another important practice: using these battles to educate others. Several Louisiana prisoners have been writing to Under Lock & Key with these regular updates on the struggle, using their work to expose the criminal injustice system and as a tool of education behind bars. We can use these battles to build unity and educate others on the systematic nature of imperialist oppression and the use of prisons as tools of social control.

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[Control Units] [Abuse] [Campaigns] [David Wade Correctional Center] [Louisiana] [ULK Issue 53]
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Oppressive Conditions in Louisiana Control Units

This is a plea for help from all prisoners housed in Louisiana at David Wade located in Homer. This plea is for advocacy against the cruel and unusual conditions. No one in their right mind should let this suffering and these inhumane living conditions go on. The unconstitutionally tortuous conditions need to be stopped. This is solitary torture.

We have been fighting with hunger strikes and cutting ourselves trying to make DOC make some changes here in our living conditions. We also have over 10 of us in court on all the confinement issues in the 19th District Court in BR. LA Case #647-104. We are trying to make this a class action but we need counsel representatives to help and to make our voice heard outside these walls.

All prisoners are housed in their cells 24-7 and get only one hour outside a week. All cells are approx. 8' x 7' which do not meet ACA standards of sixty-four square feet of unencumbered space for prisoners.

Many studies have been conducted showing these conditions to cause extreme psychological stress and trauma due to prolonged isolation periods. There has been much activism done in several states about the conditions of confinement. But not here in Louisiana where Albert Woodfox did 46 years at this jail in one cell, and he won a court case on the confinement issue but not a thing has changed here.

It is past due for Louisiana to be recognized for oppressive and tortuous conditions imposed upon prisoners in this state. I would like to point out some significant differences between Louisiana and other states. Besides the similarities of torture and indefinite time done by prisoners, with no determinate criteria or programs for release or to get out of lock-down, we are living in far worse conditions. We do not have TVs or radios, nor access to any educational programming, etc. We are limited to three books, and we endure eighteen hours of continuous bright light in the cells everyday, no exceptions!

We must endure the elements of both cold and heat, with temperatures often times reaching triple digits. We are not provided any ice, and are forced to wear a heavy linen jumpsuit from 5am to 4pm.

All prisoners suffer the effects of the chemical agents that are used on us on a daily basis. Many prisoners are also placed on "strip cell" in a thin see-through paper gown for thirty-day periods. During the winter months this is beyond torture.

These are only a few of the many conditions imposed by this prison administration. All continue to suffer and as many are illiterate and unable to express or articulate themselves, I speak on their behalf. We need help! We need change! We need publicity to expose this torture!


MIM(Prisons) responds: This comrade is documenting conditions in the long term isolation units in Louisiana. This battle is part of our fight to shut down prison control units across the country. As this writer explains, these cells are physical and mental torture. The long-term effects can be devastating. Our incomplete data from the state of Louisiana indicates that there are over 1000 long-term isolation units in that state. And we know that solitary confinement is used as a tool of control for political activists, as Louisiana infamously held the Angola 3 (who had formed a chapter of the Black Panthers) in such conditions longer than any other U.$. prisoner, as the comrade alludes to above. Join this comrade in our campaign to expose and put an end to this torture!

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[Campaigns] [Abuse] [David Wade Correctional Center] [Louisiana]
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Heat and Conditions Driving People to Suicide in Louisiana

On the date of 12 June 2016 an offender by the name of Lawrence Goodeau committed suicide due to the confinement and heat issue being so harsh. Upon David Wade authorities doing their investigation they made multiple threats to offenders after their investigation about them letting investigators know about the confinement and heat issue that we are currently in court for. There have been other deaths here at David Wade at the hands of authority that have been swept under the rug multiple times.

At this point in time David Wade is under investigation for the cruel and unusual punishment by the Dept. of Corrections and other sources behind all of the violations by authority of David Wade. Right now offenders are at risk of a heatstroke because of the heat issue. The head Warden Jerry Goodwin, who is now the regional Warden, has totally disregarded these issues as well. We need a lot of help with these issues here at David Wade. We need everyone possible to get in touch with the governor John Bel Edwards at his office by phone at 225-342-9740 or by fax at 225-342-3095. Contact the advocate at 225-383-1111 or the Times at 504-826-3595 or go on the web-site at www.correctionstatela.com. Thank you for helping us protest these issues. Thank you for your time.

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