Louisiana: Street view of Bridge City Center for Youth

Frustrated Parents, Advocates Starting to Sue Over Youth Not Freed Over COVID-19

Two months ago, her son, now 20, had spent the weekend on furlough, being a regular kid instead of a youth locked up in one of Louisiana’s juvenile detention centers. While an ankle monitor measured his compliance with orders to stay at home, he’d found joy for three days in simple activities like mowing the yard and eating boiled crawfish. He was able to take a shower and use the restroom without asking permission first. But his time was cut short. Though he had been scheduled to stay a long weekend, through Tuesday, his family was instructed to return him to the Bridge City Center for Youth in Bridge City a day early.

Man in dark blue uniform, mask, holds cart full of boxes. Woman in blue T-shirt, shorts in background.

Desperate Louisiana Prisoners Say Wardens, Staff Not Following Coronavirus Rules

The last will and testament came in an email, one most likely monitored by the state. It came from a prisoner, incarcerated for decades at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, better known as Angola. He composed and sent it shortly after the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DOC) opened a shuttered camp previously notorious for being a site of solitary confinement and violence.

Angola: The entrance to the Louisiana State Penitentiary - The placard says "Louisiana State Penitentiary" and "Warden Burl Cain"

‘The World Has Turned a Blind Eye on What’s Happening to Prisoners’

I’ve seen far too many times how crisis and death unite people, but that unity and common thread that binds all people together is often very short lived, even in a place like Angola. Ranking officials, like Major Bellamy, says “Its us against them,” during roll call. Of course other security, who perhaps take offense to that statement, always share their anger, frustration, and anxiety. But when the Coronavirus hit Angola, especially here in Ash dormitory, things began to change very quickly. The usual communication between security and the offender population changed instantly.

police shooting: Elderly man, woman stand in living room.

Baton Rouge Witness Challenges Police Over Shooting of Black Man

The young woman sat on a mattress in the middle of the floor of her bedroom in North Baton Rouge. Open in front of her was the diary she started after her friend, Jordan Frazier, was shot and killed by a Baton Rouge Police officer during a traffic stop. The entry was dated June 27, 2017, just more than a week after his death.