Civil Rights Impact Litigation

Advocating for Incarcerated People

The Promise of Justice Initiative focuses its Civil Rights Impact Litigation on the horrific prison conditions that exist in Louisiana. Louisiana spends less money per prisoner than almost all other states, and leads the world in incarcerating its citizens. 

PJI uses data from impacted people on the ground to determine crucial litigation. Our strategic litigation team weighs the real needs of incarcerated people and identify parts of the system that aren’t working- then we move to fix them. 

Dangerous Heat Conditions

PJI litigated the dangerous heat conditions on death row at the notorious Angola Prison (Louisiana State Penitentiary). With average summer temperatures in the 90’s and triple digits, prisoners on death row had no access to temperature control, exacerbating serious medical conditions.

 PJI filed suit against the prison for its cruel and unusual heat conditions. PJI won air conditioning relief for the plaintiff’s only to have it overturned by the 5th circuit. PJI recently settled the case, resulting in relief for the named plaintiffs.

Medical Class Action Suit

Medical care in Louisiana prisons is desperately lacking resources, funding, and staff. The majority of the physicians at the Louisiana State Penitentiary have had their medical licenses stripped. The majority of the hospital care workers are prisoners with a small amount of training, called EMTs. 

PJI recently took the Louisiana State Penitentiary to trial in a class action suit to fight their abhorrent and unconstitutional medical care. Incarcerated men at the prison were ignored, accused of malingering, denied treatment, and left to languish in pain. Many treatable illnesses were ignored until chronic, untreatable, or desperate measures were required to treat them.