State Watch

Lawsuit alleging abuse at Louisiana prison gets class-action status

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote has granted class-action status to a lawsuit that alleges abuse at a Louisiana state prison, The Associated Press reported.

Foote's decision means that criminal justice advocates can seek relief benefits for hundreds of prisoners for inhumane treatment at the David Wade Correctional Center near the Louisiana-Arkansas border. 

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in 2018, according to the AP. It alleges that inmates at the correctional facility were held in isolation in their cells for entire days, sometimes for months and years on end. 

Inmates who have mental health problems resorted to self-mutilation and suicide attempts due to the isolation, according to the lawsuit. 

Inmates also allege that the prison violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Eighth Amendment, which protects people from cruel and unusual punishment.

State officials fought against the class-action status and have denied the allegations in the lawsuit, the AP noted.